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To determine factors associated with change in rectal temperature (RT) of dogs undergoing anesthesia.


507 dogs.


In a prospective observational study, the RT of dogs undergoing anesthesia at 5 veterinary hospitals was recorded at the time of induction of anesthesia and at the time of recovery from anesthesia (ie, at the time of extubation). Demographic data, body condition score, American Society of Anesthesiologists (ASA) physical status classification, types of procedure performed and medications administered, duration of anesthesia, and use of heat support were also recorded. Multiple regression analysis was performed to determine factors that were significantly associated with a decrease or an increase (or no change) in RT. Odds ratios were calculated for factors significantly associated with a decrease in RT.


Among the 507 dogs undergoing anesthesia, RT decreased in 89% (median decrease, −1.2°C [-2.2°F]; range, −0.1°C to −5.7°C [–0.2°F to −10.3°F]), increased in 9% (median increase, 0.65°C [1.2°F]; range, 0.1°C to 2.1°C [3.8°F]), and did not change in 2%. Factors that significantly predicted and increased the odds of a decrease in RT included lower weight, ASA classification > 2, surgery for orthopedic or neurologic disease, MRI procedures, use of an α2-adrenergic or μ-opioid receptor agonist, longer duration of anesthesia, and higher heat loss rate. Lack of μ-opioid receptor agonist use, shorter duration of anesthesia, and lower heat loss rate were significantly associated with an increase in RT.


Multiple factors that were associated with a decrease in RT in dogs undergoing anesthesia were identified. Knowledge of these factors may help identify dogs at greater risk of developing inadvertent perianesthetic hypothermia.

Full access
in Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association


To investigate the reliability of 3 scales used for assessment of pain in dogs.


Prospective study.


50 dogs that had surgery.


Dogs were allocated into 3 groups (group 1, 25 dogs assessed 1 hour after the end of surgery; group 2, 41 dogs assessed between 21 and 27 hours after the end of surgery; group 3, 16 dogs assessed on the day of surgery and on the subsequent day). Each dog was scored for pain 4 times by 3 (groups 1 and 3) or 4 (group 2) veterinarians, using all 3 scales (ie, simple descriptive, numerical rating, and visual analogue) during each scoring period. Analysis of data was performed using ANOVA, loglinear modeling, calculation of reproducibility coefficients, and Cohen's kappa statistic.


Significant variability existed among observers for use of all 3 scales. Variability among observers and between observers and dogs accounted for 29 to 36% of the total variability (group 1, 36.1 and 32.3% and group 2, 35.1 and 29.7%, for visual analogue scale and numerical rating scale scores, respectively). Kappa statistic values calculated for data obtained by use of the simple descriptive scale indicated that agreement was fair for the observers (group 1, 0.244 to 0.299; group 2, 0.211 to 0.368; group 3, 0.233 to 0.321).

Clinical Implications

Analysis of pain score data in dogs must incorporate observer variability when more than 1 observer is used. Comparative analysis of data accrued from pain studies in various hospitals must account for this variability. (J Am Vet Med Assoc 1998;212:61–66)

Free access
in Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association