Article Text

Propofol with ketamine following sedation with xylazine for routine induction of general anaesthesia in horses
  1. L. P. Posner, DVM, ACVAA,
  2. J. I. Kasten, DVM and
  3. C. Kata, LVT, VTS (Anes)
  1. Department of Molecular and Biomedical Sciences, North Carolina State University, Raleigh, NC 27607, USA
  1. E-mail for correspondence: lysa_posner{at}


To document the suitability of intravenous propofol and ketamine following sedation with xylazine for routine anaesthetic induction in horses. Retrospective. 100 client-owned horses. Anaesthetic records were evaluated to determine: signalment, anaesthetic drug and dosages, need for additional induction agents, notation of any adverse events, duration of anaesthesia and recovery characteristics (rough or smooth, and rapid or prolonged). Horses were sedated with xylazine 0.99±(0.2) mg/kg intravenous and 23 horses were also administered butorphanol 0.02±(0.001) mg/kg intravenous. Horses were anaesthetised with a combination of propofol 0.40±(0.1) mg/kg intravenous and ketamine 2.8±(0.3) mg/kg intravenous. Six horses required additional ketamine. None became apnoeic and no adverse events were noted. Anaesthesia was maintained with isoflurane in 66 horses and a combination of guaifenesin, ketamine and xylazine (GKX) in 34 horses. Total anaesthesia time was 125.4±(46) minutes. Fifty-one horses were administered romifidine 0.016 (±0.008) mg/kg intravenous at recovery. Time from orotracheal extubation to standing was 27.6±(25) minutes. Of the 58 records with recovery characteristics, the number per category was: rapid n=6, prolonged n=3, smooth n=46, rough n=6. Intravenous propofol and ketamine following xylazine provided satisfactory anaesthetic inductions and recoveries in a varied population of horses without any clinically relevant adverse events.

  • Anaesthesia
  • Horses
  • propofol
  • ketamine

Statistics from

If you wish to reuse any or all of this article please use the link below which will take you to the Copyright Clearance Center’s RightsLink service. You will be able to get a quick price and instant permission to reuse the content in many different ways.