An epidural injection in elephants is recommended when a vaginal vestibulotomy is performed in order to reduce tail movements of the elephant and provide additional analgesia in the perineal region.
Restrain the elephant as appropriate in a chute and sedated if necessary.
Disinfect the injection site.
Move the tail up and down to determine the position of the most mobile intercoccygeal space.
Inject local anaesthetic (2% Lidocaine) into the skin over the injection site.
Palpate the intercoccygeal space wearing a sterile glove and insert the needle (14 gauge, 3 inch) at approximately a 60 - 70 degree angle cranially.
The epidural space is about 6.5 cm below the skin surface.
Inject Lidocaine: 30 ml was sufficient to produce tail relaxation in a 3,000 kg elephant, and the elephant remained standing.
Blow dart injection: