The cardiopulmonary effects of romifidine at 80 pig/kg (R80) or 120 pig/kg (R120), and detomidine at 20 pg/kg (D20) when used as premedicants for ketamine/halothane anaesthesia were investigated in six ponies. Using a blinded crossover design, acepromazine (0-04 mg/kg) was administered followed by the alpha-2 agonist. Anaesthesia was induced with ketamine at 2-2 mg/kg and maintained with halothane (expired concentration 1-0 per cent) in oxygen for three hours. During anaesthesia, arterial blood pressure, cardiac index, PaO2 and PmvO2 decreased, and systemic vascular resistance and PaCO2 increased. The cardiac indices for R80, R120 and D20 were, respectively, 39,39 and 32 ml/kg/minute at 30 minutes and 29, 29 and 26 ml/kg/minute at 180 minutes. The alpha-2 agonists had similar cardiovascular effects, but PaO2 was significantly lower with R120. The quality of anaesthesia was similar in all three groups.
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