Two groups of 21 three-month-old Landrace × Large White pigs were sedated with either azaperone (2 mg/kg), butorphanol (0.2 mg/kg) and ketamine (5 mg/kg) (group A), or detomidine (100 pg/kg), butorphanol (0.2 mg/kg) and ketamine (5 mg/kg) (group D) administered intramuscularly, before being anaesthetised with halothane, oxygen and nitrous oxide for a bilateral stifle arthrotomy. The pigs' heart rate, respiratory rate, mean arterial blood pressure, electrocardiogram, arterial oxygen saturation, arterial blood gases, and oesophageal and rectal temperature were measured while they were anaesthetised and five minutes after they were disconnected, and their recovery times and any complications were recorded. Both groups were well sedated. Their heart rate was unchanged during the period of anaesthesia but increased when they recovered. The respiratory rate, mean arterial blood pressure and rectal temperature were lower in group A than in group D (P<0.05). Mild respiratory acidosis developed during anaesthesia in both groups. Both groups recovered equally rapidly and complications were generally minor, though two pigs in group D appeared to develop malignant hyperthermia.
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