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Clinical and histologic effects of intracardiac administration of propofol for induction of anesthesia in ball pythons (Python regius)

Michael S. McFaddenVeterinary Teaching Hospital, Department of Veterinary Clinical Medicine, College of Veterinary Medicine, University of Illinois, Urbana, IL 61802.

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 MS, DVM, DACVS
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R. Avery BennettVeterinary Teaching Hospital, Department of Veterinary Clinical Medicine, College of Veterinary Medicine, University of Illinois, Urbana, IL 61802.

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Drury R. ReavillZoo/Exotic Pathology Service, 2825 KOVR Dr, West Sacramento, CA 95605.

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Guillaume R. RagetlyVeterinary Teaching Hospital, Department of Veterinary Clinical Medicine, College of Veterinary Medicine, University of Illinois, Urbana, IL 61802.

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Stuart C. Clark-PriceVeterinary Teaching Hospital, Department of Veterinary Clinical Medicine, College of Veterinary Medicine, University of Illinois, Urbana, IL 61802.

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Abstract

Objective—To assess the clinical differences between induction of anesthesia in ball pythons with intracardiac administration of propofol and induction with isoflurane in oxygen and to assess the histologic findings over time in hearts following intracardiac administration of propofol.

Design—Prospective randomized study.

Animals—30 hatchling ball pythons (Python regius).

Procedures—Anesthesia was induced with intracardiac administration of propofol (10 mg/kg [4.5 mg/lb]) in 18 ball pythons and with 5% isoflurane in oxygen in 12 ball pythons. Induction time, time of anesthesia, and recovery time were recorded. Hearts from snakes receiving intracardiac administration of propofol were evaluated histologically 3, 7, 14, 30, and 60 days following propofol administration.

Results—Induction time with intracardiac administration of propofol was significantly shorter than induction time with 5% isoflurane in oxygen. No significant differences were found in total anesthesia time. Recovery following intracardiac administration of propofol was significantly longer than recovery following induction of anesthesia with isoflurane in oxygen. Heart tissue evaluated histologically at 3, 7, and 14 days following intracardiac administration of propofol had mild inflammatory changes, and no histopathologic lesions were seen 30 and 60 days following propofol administration.

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Intracardiac injection of propofol in snakes is safe and provides a rapid induction of anesthesia but leads to prolonged recovery, compared with that following induction with isoflurane. Histopathologic lesions in heart tissues following intracardiac injection of propofol were mild and resolved after 14 days.

Abstract

Objective—To assess the clinical differences between induction of anesthesia in ball pythons with intracardiac administration of propofol and induction with isoflurane in oxygen and to assess the histologic findings over time in hearts following intracardiac administration of propofol.

Design—Prospective randomized study.

Animals—30 hatchling ball pythons (Python regius).

Procedures—Anesthesia was induced with intracardiac administration of propofol (10 mg/kg [4.5 mg/lb]) in 18 ball pythons and with 5% isoflurane in oxygen in 12 ball pythons. Induction time, time of anesthesia, and recovery time were recorded. Hearts from snakes receiving intracardiac administration of propofol were evaluated histologically 3, 7, 14, 30, and 60 days following propofol administration.

Results—Induction time with intracardiac administration of propofol was significantly shorter than induction time with 5% isoflurane in oxygen. No significant differences were found in total anesthesia time. Recovery following intracardiac administration of propofol was significantly longer than recovery following induction of anesthesia with isoflurane in oxygen. Heart tissue evaluated histologically at 3, 7, and 14 days following intracardiac administration of propofol had mild inflammatory changes, and no histopathologic lesions were seen 30 and 60 days following propofol administration.

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Intracardiac injection of propofol in snakes is safe and provides a rapid induction of anesthesia but leads to prolonged recovery, compared with that following induction with isoflurane. Histopathologic lesions in heart tissues following intracardiac injection of propofol were mild and resolved after 14 days.

Contributor Notes

Dr. Bennett's present address is the Animal Medical Center, 510 E 62nd St, New York, NY 10065.

Address correspondence to Dr. McFadden (mikemdvm@illinois.edu).