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HYPOTHERMIA is a common complication of general anaesthesia which can have deleterious effects on metabolism (Vitez and others 1974), cardio-respiratory function (Blatteis and Horvath 1958) and immunity (Gifford and others 2011), and has been shown to prolong recovery from anaesthesia (Pottie and others 2007). Anaesthesia-induced hypothermia occurs in three phases: a redistribution of heat from the body core to the periphery takes place initially, followed by an imbalance between heat loss and impaired metabolic heat production. The third phase is reached after peripheral vasoconstriction has been triggered, causing the body temperature to plateau (Sessler 1993). Heat loss can be caused by four different processes: evaporation, conduction, convection and radiation. Forced warm-air blankets are among the heating devices which have been proven to be effective against perioperative hypothermia (Tan and others 2004) and have yet to be compared with a new heated mat device, which was the aim of this study.
A total of 120 dogs, 20 to 60 kg bodyweight undergoing unilateral pelvic limb surgery lasting more than 60 minutes, …