Intra-abdominal pressure (IAP) and abdominal perfusion pressure (APP) have shown clinical relevance in monitoring critically ill human beings submitted to abdominal surgery. Only a few studies have been performed in veterinary medicine. The aim of this study was to assess how pregnancy and abdominal surgery may affect IAP and APP in healthy cats. For this purpose, pregnant (n=10) and non-pregnant (n=11) queens undergoing elective spaying, and tomcats (n=20, used as controls) presented for neutering by scrotal orchidectomy were included in the study. IAP, mean arterial blood pressure (MAP), APP, heart rate and rectal temperature (RT) were determined before, immediately after, and four hours after surgery. IAP increased significantly immediately after abdominal surgery in both female groups when compared with baseline (P<0.05) and male (P<0.05) values, and returned to initial perioperative readings four hours after surgery. Tomcats and pregnant females (P<0.05) showed an increase in MAP and APP immediately after surgery decreasing back to initial perioperative values four hours later. A significant decrease in RT was appreciated immediately after laparotomy in both pregnant and non-pregnant queens. IAP was affected by abdominal surgery in this study, due likely to factors, such as postoperative pain and hypothermia. Pregnancy did not seem to affect IAP in this population of cats, possibly due to subjects being in early stages of pregnancy.
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