The anaesthetic and physiological effects of a combination of 40 micrograms medetomidine with 2.5 ketamine, 5.0 or 7.5 mg/kg administered intramuscularly were compared with the effects of a combination of 1 mg/kg xylazine and 15 mg/kg ketamine. All the combinations rapidly induced an anaesthetic state that permitted endotracheal intubation, with the absence of the pedal reflex and with good muscle relaxation, and induced bradycardia that was less pronounced as the dose of ketamine was increased. All the combinations produced a decrease in respiratory rate. Increasing the dose of ketamine combined with medetomidine resulted in a very significant prolongation of the duration of anaesthesia, the duration of muscle relaxation and the arousal time. The duration of the anaesthetic effects of 40 micrograms/kg medetomidine with 5 mg/kg ketamine was comparable to that provided by the recommended xylazine/ketamine combination but the period of muscle relaxation was significantly longer. The recovery from medetomidine/ketamine took longer than recovery from xylazine/ketamine but there were fewer side effects.
- British Veterinary Association. All rights reserved.
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