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Detomidine-Propofol Anesthesia for Abdominal Surgery in Horses

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To evaluate propofol for induction and maintenance of anesthesia, after detomidine premedication, in horses undergoing abdominal surgery for creation of an experimental intestinal adhesion model. Study Design

Prospective study. Animals

Twelve horses (424 ± 81 kg) from 1 to 20 years of age (5 females, 7 males). Methods

Horses were premedicated with detomidine (0.015 mg/kg IV) 20 to 25 minutes before induction, and a propofol bolus (2 mg/kg IV) was administered for induction. Propofol infusion (0.2 mg/kg/min IV) was used to maintain anesthesia. The infusion rate was adjusted to maintain an acceptable anesthetic plane as determined by muscle relaxation, occular signs, response to surgery, and cardiopulmonary responses. Oxygen (15 L/min) was insufflated through an endotracheal tube as necessary to maintain the SpO2 greater than 90%. Systolic (SAP), mean (MAP), and diastolic (DAP) arterial pressures, heart rate (HR), electrocardiogram (ECG), respiratory rate (RR), SpO2 (via pulse oximetry), and nasal temperature were recorded at 15 minute intervals, before premedication and after induction of anesthesia. Arterial blood gas samples were collected at the same times. Objective data are reported as mean (±SD); subjective data are reported as medians (range). Results

Propofol (2.0 mg/kg IV) induced anesthesia (mean bolus time, 85 sec) within 24 sec (±22 sec) after the bolus was completed. Induction was good in 10 horses; 2 horses showed signs of excitement and these two inductions were not smooth. Propofol infusion (0.18 mg/kg/min ± 0.04) was used to maintain anesthesia for 61 ± 19 minutes with the horses in dorsal recumbency. Mean SAP, DAP, and MAP increased significantly over time from 131 to 148, 89 to 101, and 105 to 121 mm Hg, respectively. Mean HR varied over time from 43 to 45 beats/min, whereas mean RR increased significantly over anesthesia time from 4 to 6 breaths/min. Mean arterial pH decreased from a baseline of 7.41 ± 0.07 to 7.30 ± 0.05 at 15 minutes of anesthesia, then increased towards baseline values. Mean Paco2 values increased during anesthesia, ranging from 47 to 61 mm Hg whereas PaO2 values decreased from baseline (97 ± 20 mm Hg), ranging from 42 to 57 mm Hg. Muscle relaxation was good and no horses moved during surgery: Recovery was good in 9 horses and acceptable in 3; mean recovery time was 67 ± 29 minutes with 2.4 ± 2.4 attempts necessary for the horses to stand. Conclusions

Detomidine-propofol anesthesia in horses in dorsal recumbency was associated with little cardiovascular depression, but hypoxemia and respiratory depression occurred and some excitement was seen on induction. Clinical Relevance

Detomidine-propofol anesthesia is not recommended for surgical procedures in horses if dorsal recumbency is necessary and supplemental oxygen is not available (eg, field anesthesia).

©Copyright 1999 by The American College of Veterinary Surgeons
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Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: From the Texas Veterinary Medical Center, Texas A & M University, College Station, TX

Publication date: 1999-05-01

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