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Use of acepromazine in the anaesthetic management of male horses

B. Driessen, L. Zarucco, B. Kalir, L. Bertolotti

THIS retrospective study assessed the use of acepromazine in the anaesthetic management of male horses in the light of concerns regarding the risk of systemic hypotension and prolonged penile prolapse.

Medical records were searched for horses and ponies that had received acepromazine at a clinic between 1999 and 2009. Records were reviewed for demographic data, the dose and time of acepromazine administration, use of any concurrent drugs, quality of induction and recovery from anaesthesia, arterial blood pressure, and occurrence of penile dysfunction. In 2009, a questionnaire was sent to all diplomates of the American College of Veterinary Anesthesiologists and European College of Veterinary Anaesthesia and Analgesia to ask them about their use of acepromazine in practice.

Among the 8533 horses anaesthetised, 372 mares and 575 males (42 per cent stallions) were identified as having received acepromazine, primarily for premedication. Anaesthetic induction was smooth in 566 horses. The lowest mean (sd) arterial pressure was 65 [9] mmHg. Recovery was reported to be good in 70 per cent of animals. …

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