A technique for deployment of rumen bolus transmitters in free-ranging moose (Alces alces)

Larissa Minicucci, Michelle Carstensen, John Crouse, Jon M. Arnemo, Alina Evans

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Scopus citations


Recent uses for rumen boluses, such as mortality implant transmitters (MITs), in wildlife have made it necessary to adapt deployment techniques developed for livestock. In 29 and 30 attempts to place MITs in Minnesota free-ranging moose (Alces alces) in 2013 and 2014, respectively, success was achieved 83% and 63% of the time. In 2014, new methods for MIT deployment were evaluated in captive moose in Alaska. Mandible measurements provided guidance for selection of an appropriate-sized bolus applicator. A Schulze mouth gag was used to aid insertion of the applicator, and canola oil was used to lubricate the bolus to facilitate swallowing. Time to first swallow and time to continuous swallow following sedative reversal was measured to gauge appropriate timing for bolus administration. Using the adapted technique with trained personnel, success rates for MIT deployment were 100% (10/10) for captive moose and 88% (21/24) for free-ranging moose in Minnesota in 2015.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)227-230
Number of pages4
JournalJournal of Zoo and Wildlife Medicine
Issue number1
StatePublished - Mar 1 2018

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
Acknowledgments: The authors would like to acknowledge the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources and the University of Minnesota College of Veterinary Medicine for financial support. Additional project assistance was provided by Erik Hildebrand and Dan Thompson.

Publisher Copyright:
© Copyright 2018 by American Association of Zoo Veterinarians.


  • Alces alces
  • Moose
  • Mortality implant transmitter
  • Rumen bolus
  • Ruminant


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