Objective—To determine the effect of 2 doses of metoclopramide on the incidence of gastroesophageal reflux (GER) in anesthetized dogs.
Animals—52 healthy dogs undergoing elective orthopedic surgery.
Procedure—In this prospective clinical study, dogs were evaluated before and during orthopedic surgery. The anesthetic protocol used was standardized to include administration of acepromazine, morphine, thiopental, and isoflurane. Dogs were randomly selected to receive an infusion of saline (0.9% NaCl) solution, a low dose of metoclopramide, or a high dose of metoclopramide before and during anesthesia. Treatment groups were similar with respect to age, body weight, duration of food withholding before surgery, duration of surgery, and dose of thiopental administered. Dogs were positioned in dorsal recumbency during surgery. A sensor-tipped catheter was inserted to measure esophageal pH during anesthesia. We defined GER as a decrease in esophageal pH to < 4 or an increase to > 7.5 that lasted more than 30 seconds.
Results—The high dose of metoclopramide (bolus loading dose of 1.0 mg/kg, IV, followed by continuous infusion at a rate of 1.0 mg/kg/h) was associated with a 54% reduction in relative risk of developing GER. The low dose did not significantly affect the incidence of GER.
Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Administration of metoclopramide by bolus and constant rate infusion at doses much higher than commonly used will reduce the incidence but not totally prevent GER in anesthetized dogs undergoing orthopedic surgery.