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Assessment of intramuscular administration of three doses of alfaxalone combined with hydromorphone and dexmedetomidine for endoscopic-guided orotracheal intubation in domestic rabbits (Oryctolagus cuniculus)

Stephanie N. ReabelFrom the Department of Veterinary Clinical Sciences, School of Veterinary Medicine, Louisiana State University, Baton Rouge, LA 70803.

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Patricia Queiroz-WilliamsFrom the Department of Veterinary Clinical Sciences, School of Veterinary Medicine, Louisiana State University, Baton Rouge, LA 70803.

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Jeannette CremerFrom the Department of Veterinary Clinical Sciences, School of Veterinary Medicine, Louisiana State University, Baton Rouge, LA 70803.

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Chiara E. HamptonFrom the Department of Veterinary Clinical Sciences, School of Veterinary Medicine, Louisiana State University, Baton Rouge, LA 70803.

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Chin-Chi LiuFrom the Department of Veterinary Clinical Sciences, School of Veterinary Medicine, Louisiana State University, Baton Rouge, LA 70803.

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Anderson da CunhaFrom the Department of Veterinary Clinical Sciences, School of Veterinary Medicine, Louisiana State University, Baton Rouge, LA 70803.

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Javier G. NevarezFrom the Department of Veterinary Clinical Sciences, School of Veterinary Medicine, Louisiana State University, Baton Rouge, LA 70803.

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Abstract

OBJECTIVE

To determine the dose of alfaxalone for IM administration combined with dexmedetomidine and hydromorphone that would allow endoscopic-guided orotracheal intubation in rabbits without causing a decrease in respiratory rate or apnea.

ANIMALS

15 sexually intact (9 females and 6 males) healthy Miniature Lop rabbits weighing a mean ± SD of 2.3 ± 0.3 kg and ranging in age from 4 to 9 months.

PROCEDURES

In a randomized, controlled clinical trial, rabbits received 0.1 mg of hydro-morphone/kg and 0.005 mg of dexmedetomidine/kg, plus alfaxalone at either 2 mg/kg (5 rabbits), 5 mg/kg (5 rabbits), or 7 mg/kg (5 rabbits). Drugs were mixed in a single syringe and administered IM. Semiquantitative rating scales were used to evaluate quality of anesthesia and intubation. Orotracheal intubation was attempted with endoscopy and confirmed by capnography.

RESULTS

The number of successful intubations was 0, 3, and 4 in rabbits receiving 2, 5, and 7 mg of alfaxalone/kg, respectively. Median (range) anesthesia quality scores (scale, 0 to 12; 12 = deepest anesthesia) were 3 (2 to 5), 6 (5 to 6), and 6 (4 to 9) for rabbits receiving 2, 5, and 7 mg of alfaxalone/kg, respectively. The median (range) intubation quality scores (scale, 0 to 3 [ie, intubation not possible to easiest intubation]) were 0 (0 to 0), 2 (0 to 3), and 2 (0 to 3) for rabbits receiving 2, 5, and 7 mg of alfaxalone/kg, respectively. None of the rabbits experienced a decrease in respiratory rate or apnea.

CONCLUSIONS AND CLINICAL RELEVANCE

Increasing doses of alfaxalone combined with hydromorphone and dexmedetomidine increased the success rate of endoscopic-guided orotracheal intubation. Increasing the dose of alfaxalone had no effect on respiratory rate.

Abstract

OBJECTIVE

To determine the dose of alfaxalone for IM administration combined with dexmedetomidine and hydromorphone that would allow endoscopic-guided orotracheal intubation in rabbits without causing a decrease in respiratory rate or apnea.

ANIMALS

15 sexually intact (9 females and 6 males) healthy Miniature Lop rabbits weighing a mean ± SD of 2.3 ± 0.3 kg and ranging in age from 4 to 9 months.

PROCEDURES

In a randomized, controlled clinical trial, rabbits received 0.1 mg of hydro-morphone/kg and 0.005 mg of dexmedetomidine/kg, plus alfaxalone at either 2 mg/kg (5 rabbits), 5 mg/kg (5 rabbits), or 7 mg/kg (5 rabbits). Drugs were mixed in a single syringe and administered IM. Semiquantitative rating scales were used to evaluate quality of anesthesia and intubation. Orotracheal intubation was attempted with endoscopy and confirmed by capnography.

RESULTS

The number of successful intubations was 0, 3, and 4 in rabbits receiving 2, 5, and 7 mg of alfaxalone/kg, respectively. Median (range) anesthesia quality scores (scale, 0 to 12; 12 = deepest anesthesia) were 3 (2 to 5), 6 (5 to 6), and 6 (4 to 9) for rabbits receiving 2, 5, and 7 mg of alfaxalone/kg, respectively. The median (range) intubation quality scores (scale, 0 to 3 [ie, intubation not possible to easiest intubation]) were 0 (0 to 0), 2 (0 to 3), and 2 (0 to 3) for rabbits receiving 2, 5, and 7 mg of alfaxalone/kg, respectively. None of the rabbits experienced a decrease in respiratory rate or apnea.

CONCLUSIONS AND CLINICAL RELEVANCE

Increasing doses of alfaxalone combined with hydromorphone and dexmedetomidine increased the success rate of endoscopic-guided orotracheal intubation. Increasing the dose of alfaxalone had no effect on respiratory rate.

Contributor Notes

Address correspondence to Dr. Queiroz-Williams (pqueiroz@lsu.edu).