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Effects of a medetomidine-ketamine combination on tear production in cats

S. Di Pietro, F. Macrì, T. Bonarrigo, E. Giudice, A. Palumbo Piccionello, A. Pugliese

AN anaesthetic drug in combination with a sedative is commonly used in feline practice to perform routine invasive procedures, radiographic examinations or procedures such as castration or ovariohysterectomy. However, the use of injectable anaesthetic drugs can reduce ocular tear production in animals, including cats. This study aimed to evaluate the effects of a medetomidine-ketamine combination on tear production in clinically normal cats using the Schirmer tear test (STT) before and during anaesthesia and after the reversal of medetomidine with atipamezole.

Forty domestic shorthair cats which were anaesthetised for elective castration or ovariohysterectomy were included in the study. The experimental group (30 cats) were anaesthetised with the medetomidine-ketamine combination and the effects of medetomidine were reversed by intramuscular administration of atipamezole. The control group (10 cats) were anaesthetised with a combination of medetomidine hydrochloride (80 µg/kg) and ketamine hydrochloride (5 mg/kg) and did not receive a reversal agent. The tear production of both eyes of each cat was measured using the …

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