The anaesthetic induction agents thiopentone, propofol and alphaxalone-alphadolone were administered to cats intravenously and ketamine and xylazine-ketamine-atropine were administered intramuscularly in order to determine their effects on gastric pressure, lower oesophageal sphincter pressure, and barrier pressure. Manometric measurements were made with a non-perfused catheter tip pressure transducer. All the anaesthetic induction agents decreased the tone of the lower oesophageal sphincter but the reduction was least with ketamine. Lower oesophageal sphincter tone was significantly higher in cats anaesthetised with either xylazine-ketamine-atropine or propofol than in cats anaesthetised with either thiopentone or alphaxalone-alphadolone. Despite a higher gastric pressure in the cats anaesthetised with ketamine rather than with the other drugs except propofol, the barrier pressure was also significantly higher in cats anaesthetised with ketamine than in cats anaesthetised with any of the other drugs except xylazine-ketamine-atropine. The risk of gastrooesophageal reflux seemed to be higher with alphaxalone-alphadolone than with thiopentone if the lower oesophageal sphincter pressure and gastric pressure are used as indicators of likely reflux.
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