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Evaluation of a ketamine-propofol drug combination with or without dexmedetomidine for intravenous anesthesia in cats undergoing ovariectomy

Giuliano Ravasio DVM, PhD1, Martina Gallo DVM, PhD2, Michela Beccaglia DVM, PhD3, Stefano Comazzi DVM, PhD4, Maria Elena Gelain DVM, PhD5, Diego Fonda DVM6, Valerio Bronzo PhD7, and Annalisa Zonca DVM, PhD8
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  • 1 Department of Veterinary Sciences and Public Health, Università degli Studi di Milano, 20133 Milan, Italy.
  • | 2 Department of Health, Animal Science, and Food Safety, Università degli Studi di Milano, 20133 Milan, Italy.
  • | 3 Department of Veterinary Sciences and Public Health, Università degli Studi di Milano, 20133 Milan, Italy.
  • | 4 Department of Veterinary Sciences and Public Health, Università degli Studi di Milano, 20133 Milan, Italy.
  • | 5 Department of Veterinary Sciences and Public Health, Università degli Studi di Milano, 20133 Milan, Italy.
  • | 6 Department of Veterinary Sciences and Public Health, Università degli Studi di Milano, 20133 Milan, Italy.
  • | 7 Department of Health, Animal Science, and Food Safety, Università degli Studi di Milano, 20133 Milan, Italy.
  • | 8 Department of Health, Animal Science, and Food Safety, Università degli Studi di Milano, 20133 Milan, Italy.

Abstract

Objective—To evaluate the use of a ketamine-propofol combination, with or without dexmedetomidine, in cats undergoing ovariectomy and to assess Heinz body formation following administration of these drugs.

Design—Randomized clinical trial.

Animals—15 client-owned female cats.

Procedures—Anesthesia was induced with a ketamine (2.0 mg/kg [0.91 mg/lb])-propofol (2.0 mg/kg) combination with (n = 7) or without (8) dexmedetomidine (0.003 mg/kg [0.0013 mg/lb]) and was maintained via continuous IV infusion of a 1:1 ketamine-propofol combination (administration rate for each drug, 10.0 mg/kg/h [4.54 mg/lb/h]). Cats underwent ovariectomy; duration of infusion was 25 minutes. Physiologic variables were measured at predetermined time points. Heinz bodies were quantified via examination of blood smears. Numeric scales were used to assess quality of recovery, degree of sedation, and signs of pain after surgery.

Results—The ketamine-propofol group had a significantly higher mean heart rate at several time points during drug infusion, a significantly shorter time from the end of infusion to extubation (7 vs 29 minutes), and significantly lower sedation scores for the first hour after surgery than did the ketamine-propofol-dexmedetomidine group. Other variables were similar between groups; recovery was smooth, and anesthesia and postoperative analgesia were deemed adequate for all cats. The number of RBCs with Heinz bodies was not increased after surgery, compared with values immediately after anesthetic induction.

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Total IV anesthesia with a ketamine-propofol combination, with or without dexmedetomidine, appeared to be effective in healthy cats. These short-term infusions produced smooth recovery and adequate analgesia during the postoperative period.

Contributor Notes

Presented in part at the Association of Veterinary Anaesthetists Meeting, Santorini, Greece, September 2010.

Address correspondence to Dr. Zonca (annalisa.zonca@unimi.it).