To determine the minimum alveolar concentration (MAC) of isoflurane in donkeys and characterize recovery from anesthesia.
7 healthy castrated male adult donkeys.
Anesthesia was induced with propofol and maintained under mechanical ventilation with 1.3% isoflurane end-tidal concentration (ETiso). The MAC of isoflurane was determined after a 60-minute propofol washout period using the bracketing method. A continuous noxious electrical stimulation was applied to the oral mucosa for 1 minute or until the donkey moved. The ETiso was increased or decreased by 10% depending on the response, and MAC was defined as the average of 2 ETiso values allowing and preventing movement in response to stimulation. Arterial blood gases were measured during anesthesia and the recovery period. Unassisted recovery was timed, and a quality score was assigned from 1 (very poor) to 5 (excellent).
The mean dose of propofol required for induction was 3.0 ± 0.6 mg/kg. The MAC of isoflurane was 1.44 ± 0.13%. One donkey was excluded from the study because it was still responsive when stimulated at ETiso of 2.8%. Immediately after extubation, the median (range) partial pressure of oxygen in the arterial blood was 63 (minimum to maximum, 46 to 72) mm Hg and 3 donkeys were hypoxemic (partial pressure of arterial oxygen < 60 mm Hg). The median time to standing was 13 (7 to 38) minutes, while the recovery score was 3 (2 to 5).
The MAC of isoflurane in donkeys is similar to that reported in other species. Oxygen support should be provided to donkeys during recovery from isoflurane anesthesia to prevent hypoxemia.