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Evaluation of dexmedetomidine and ketamine in combination with various opioids as injectable anesthetic combinations for castration in cats

Jeff C. Ko DVM, MS, DACVA1, Brenda R. Austin DVM, MS, DACVS2, Michele Barletta DVM, PhD3, Ann B. Weil MS, DVM, DACVA4, Rebecca A. Krimins DVM5, and Mark E. Payton PhD6
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  • 1 Department of Veterinary Clinical Sciences, School of Veterinary Medicine, Purdue University, West Lafayette, IN 47907.
  • | 2 Department of Veterinary Clinical Sciences, School of Veterinary Medicine, Purdue University, West Lafayette, IN 47907.
  • | 3 Department of Veterinary Clinical Sciences, School of Veterinary Medicine, Purdue University, West Lafayette, IN 47907.
  • | 4 Department of Veterinary Clinical Sciences, School of Veterinary Medicine, Purdue University, West Lafayette, IN 47907.
  • | 5 Department of Veterinary Clinical Sciences, School of Veterinary Medicine, Purdue University, West Lafayette, IN 47907.
  • | 6 Department of Statistics, College of Arts and Sciences, Oklahoma State University, Stillwater, OK 74078.

Abstract

Objective—To compare the efficacy and cardiorespiratory effects of dexmedetomidine-ketamine in combination with butorphanol, hydromorphone, or buprenorphine with or without reversal by atipamezole in cats undergoing castration.

Design—Prospective, randomized, split-plot, blinded study.

Animals—30 healthy male cats.

Procedures—Cats were assigned to receive dexmedetomidine (25 μg/kg [11.4 μg/lb]) and ketamine (3 mg/kg [1.4 mg/lb]) with butorphanol (0.2 mg/kg [0.09 mg/lb]; DKBut; n = 10), hydromorphone (0.05 mg/kg [0.023 mg/lb]; DKH; 10), or buprenorphine (30 μg/kg [13.6 μg/lb]; DKBup; 10). Drugs were administered as a single IM injection. Supplemental isoflurane was administered to cats if the level of anesthesia was inadequate for surgery. At the conclusion of surgery, half the cats (5 cats in each treatment group) received atipamezole (250 μg/kg [113.6 μg/lb], IM) and the remainder received saline (0.9% NaCl) solution IM. All cats received meloxicam (0.2 mg/kg, SC) immediately prior to the conclusion of surgery.

Results—All drug combinations induced lateral recumbency, and intubation was achievable in 13 of 30 (43%) cats at 10 minutes after injection. Supplemental isoflurane was needed for the surgery in 1 of 10 of the DKBut-, 2 of 10 of the DKH-, and 7 of 10 of the DKBup-treated cats. Cats that received atipamezole had a significantly shorter recovery time.

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—DKBut and DKH combinations were suitable injectable anesthetic protocols for castration in cats commencing at 10 minutes after injection, but cats receiving DKBup may require additional time or anesthetics for adequate anesthesia.

Abstract

Objective—To compare the efficacy and cardiorespiratory effects of dexmedetomidine-ketamine in combination with butorphanol, hydromorphone, or buprenorphine with or without reversal by atipamezole in cats undergoing castration.

Design—Prospective, randomized, split-plot, blinded study.

Animals—30 healthy male cats.

Procedures—Cats were assigned to receive dexmedetomidine (25 μg/kg [11.4 μg/lb]) and ketamine (3 mg/kg [1.4 mg/lb]) with butorphanol (0.2 mg/kg [0.09 mg/lb]; DKBut; n = 10), hydromorphone (0.05 mg/kg [0.023 mg/lb]; DKH; 10), or buprenorphine (30 μg/kg [13.6 μg/lb]; DKBup; 10). Drugs were administered as a single IM injection. Supplemental isoflurane was administered to cats if the level of anesthesia was inadequate for surgery. At the conclusion of surgery, half the cats (5 cats in each treatment group) received atipamezole (250 μg/kg [113.6 μg/lb], IM) and the remainder received saline (0.9% NaCl) solution IM. All cats received meloxicam (0.2 mg/kg, SC) immediately prior to the conclusion of surgery.

Results—All drug combinations induced lateral recumbency, and intubation was achievable in 13 of 30 (43%) cats at 10 minutes after injection. Supplemental isoflurane was needed for the surgery in 1 of 10 of the DKBut-, 2 of 10 of the DKH-, and 7 of 10 of the DKBup-treated cats. Cats that received atipamezole had a significantly shorter recovery time.

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—DKBut and DKH combinations were suitable injectable anesthetic protocols for castration in cats commencing at 10 minutes after injection, but cats receiving DKBup may require additional time or anesthetics for adequate anesthesia.

Contributor Notes

Dr. Barletta's present address is Department of Veterinary Clinical Sciences, College of Veterinary Medicine, University of Minnesota, Saint Paul, MN 55108.

Supported by a research grant from the School of Veterinary Medicine, Purdue University

The authors thank Dr. Tomohito Inoue and Jennifer Montgomery for technical assistance.

Address correspondence to Dr. Ko (jcko@purdue.edu.