A prospective, randomised, non-blinded, clinical study to assess the effect of peritoneal lavage using warmed fluid on body temperature in anesthetised cats and dogs of less than 10 kg body mass undergoing coeliotomy. A standardised anaesthetic protocol was used. Oesophageal and rectal temperatures were measured at various time points. At the end of surgery, group 1 patients (n=10) were lavaged with 200 ml/kg sterile isotonic saline at 34±1°C and group 2 (n=10) at 40±1°C. Groups were similar with respect to age, mass, body condition and surgical incision length. Duration of anaesthesia, surgical procedures and peritoneal lavage was similar between groups. Linear regression showed no significant change in oesophageal temperature during the lavage period for group 1 (P=0.64), but a significant increase for group 2 patients (P<0.0001), with mean temperature changes of −0.5°C (from (36.3°C to 35.9°C) and +0.9°C (from 35.4°C to 36.3°C), respectively. Similar results were found for rectal temperature, with mean changes of −0.5°C and +0.8°C (P=0.922 and 0.045), respectively. The use of isotonic crystalloid solution for peritoneal lavage at a temperature of 40±1°C significantly warms small animal patients, when applied in a clinical setting, compared with lavage solution at 34±1°C.
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