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  • Author or Editor: Khursheed R. Mama x
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Objective—To compare characteristics of horses recovering from 4 hours of desflurane anesthesia with and without immediate postanesthetic IV administration of propofol and xylazine.

Animals—8 healthy horses (mean ± SEM age, 6.6 ± 1.0 years; mean body weight, 551 ± 50 kg).

Procedures—Horses were anesthetized twice. Both times, anesthesia was induced with a combination of xylazine hydrochloride, diazepam, and ketamine hydrochloride and then maintained for 4 hours with desflurane in oxygen. Choice of postanesthetic treatment was randomly assigned via a crossover design such that each horse received an IV injection of propofol and xylazine or saline (0.9% NaCl) solution after the anesthetic episode. Recovery events were quantitatively and qualitatively assessed. Venous blood samples were obtained before and after anesthesia for determination of serum creatine kinase activity and plasma propofol concentration.

Results—Anesthetic induction and maintenance were unremarkable in all horses. Compared with administration of saline solution, postanesthetic administration of propofol and xylazine resulted in an increased interval to emergence from anesthesia but improved quality of recovery-related transition to standing. Compared with administration of saline solution, administration of propofol also delayed the rate of decrease of end-tidal concentrations of desflurane and carbon dioxide and added to conditions promoting hypoxemia and hypoventilation.

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Propofol and xylazine administered IV to horses after 4 hours of desflurane anesthesia improved the quality of transition from lateral recumbency to standing but added potential for harmful respiratory depression during the postanesthetic period.

Full access
in American Journal of Veterinary Research



To determine the pharmacokinetics of a single bolus of intravenous (IV) propofol after intramuscular administration of etorphine, butorphanol, medetomidine, and azaperone in 5 southern white rhinoceros to facilitate reproductive evaluations. A specific consideration was whether propofol would facilitate timely orotracheal intubation.


5 adult, female, zoo-maintained southern white rhinoceros.


Rhinoceros were administered etorphine (0.002 mg/kg), butorphanol (0.02 to 0.026 mg/kg), medetomidine (0.023 to 0.025 mg/kg), and azaperone (0.014 to 0.017 mg/kg) intramuscularly (IM) prior to an IV dose of propofol (0.5 mg/kg). Physiologic parameters (heart rate, blood pressure, respiratory rate, and capnography), timed parameters (eg, time to initial effects and intubation), and quality of induction and intubation were recorded following drug administration. Venous blood was collected for analysis of plasma propofol concentrations using liquid chromatography-tandem mass spectrometry at various time points after propofol administration.


All animals were approachable following IM drug administration, and orotracheal intubation was achieved at 9.8 ± 2.0 minutes (mean ±SD) following propofol administration. The mean clearance for propofol was 14.2 ± 7.7 ml/min/kg, the mean terminal half-life was 82.4 ± 74.4 minutes, and the maximum concentration occurred at 2.8 ± 2.9 minutes. Two of 5 rhinoceros experienced apnea after propofol administration. Initial hypertension, which improved without intervention, was observed.


This study provides pharmacokinetic data and insight into the effects of propofol in rhinoceros anesthetized using etorphine, butorphanol, medetomidine, and azaperone. While apnea was observed in 2 rhinoceros, propofol administration allowed for rapid control of the airway and facilitated oxygen administration and ventilatory support.

Open access
in American Journal of Veterinary Research


OBJECTIVE To evaluate agreement among diplomates of the American College of Veterinary Anesthesia and Analgesia for scores determined by use of a simple descriptive scale (SDS) or a composite grading scale (CGS) for quality of recovery of horses from anesthesia and to investigate use of 3-axis accelerometry (3AA) for objective evaluation of recovery.

ANIMALS 12 healthy adult horses.

PROCEDURES Horses were fitted with a 3AA device and then were anesthetized. Eight diplomates evaluated recovery by use of an SDS, and 7 other diplomates evaluated recovery by use of a CGS. Agreement was tested with κ and AC1 statistics for the SDS and an ANOVA for the CGS. A library of mathematical models was used to map 3AA data against CGS scores.

RESULTS Agreement among diplomates using the SDS was slight (κ = 0.19; AC1 = 0.22). The CGS scores differed significantly among diplomates. Best fit of 3AA data against CGS scores yielded the following equation: RS = 9.998 × SG0.633 × ∑UG0.174, where RS is a horse's recovery score determined with 3AA, SG is acceleration of the successful attempt to stand, and ∑UG is the sum of accelerations of unsuccessful attempts to stand.

CONCLUSIONS AND CLINICAL RELEVANCE Subjective scoring of recovery of horses from anesthesia resulted in poor agreement among diplomates. Subjective scoring may lead to differences in conclusions about recovery quality; thus, there is a need for an objective scoring method. The 3AA system removed subjective bias in evaluations of recovery of horses and warrants further study.

Full access
in American Journal of Veterinary Research