Radiological examination and surgical biopsy were required of a swelling in the cervical region in a
healthy 200 kg, six-month-old hand-reared female giraffe (Giraffa camelopardalis). Induction was
with intramuscular administration of medetomidine, butorphanol and ketamine and maintained
with 1.5 per cent isoflurane-in-oxygen on a circle anaesthetic machine. Induction and maintenance
were uneventful but recovery delayed and characterised by hindlimb weakness, opistotonus and
torticollis of the head and neck. Atipamezole and naltrexone were administered to facilitate
recovery but with minimal clinical improvement. Venous blood gas analysis indicated moderate
metabolic acidosis, hypochloraemia, increased anion gap and marked hypocalcaemia (0.64 mmol/l).
Intravenous administration of 60 ml calcium borogluconate resulted in a rapid improvement in
muscle tone and the ability to stand. Hypocalcaemia was diagnosed in a juvenile giraffe after
anaesthesia characterised by delayed recovery. Intravenous administration of calcium
borogluconate resulted in rapid recovery of muscle strength and ambulance.