The effects of fentanyl on the minimum alveolar concentration (MAC) of isoflurane and cardiovascular function in mechanically ventilated goats were evaluated using six healthy goats (three does and three wethers). Following induction of general anaesthesia with isoflurane delivered via a mask, endotracheal intubation was performed and anaesthesia was maintained with isoflurane. The baseline MAC of isoflurane (that is, the lowest alveolar concentration required to prevent gross purposeful movement) in response to clamping a claw with a vulsellum forceps was determined. Immediately after baseline isoflurane MAC determination, the goats received, on separate occasions, one of three fentanyl treatments, administered intravenously: a bolus of 0.005 mg/kg followed by constant rate infusion (CRI) of 0.005 mg/kg/hour (treatment LFENT), a bolus of 0.015 mg/kg followed by CRI of 0.015 mg/kg/hour (treatment MFENT) or a bolus of 0.03 mg/kg followed by CRI of 0.03 mg/kg/hour (treatment HFENT). Isoflurane MAC was redetermined during the fentanyl CRI treatments. Cardiopulmonary parameters were monitored. A four-week washout period was allowed between treatments. The observed baseline isoflurane MAC was 1.32 (1.29 to 1.36) per cent. Isoflurane MAC decreased to 0.98 (0.92 to 1.01) per cent, 0.75 (0.69 to 0.79) per cent and 0.58 (0.51 to 0.65) per cent following LFENT, MFENT and HFENT respectively. Cardiovascular function was not adversely affected. The quality of recovery from general anaesthesia was good, although exaggerated tail-wagging was observed in some goats following MFENT and HFENT.
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