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To compare cardiorespiratory and anesthesia effects of IV administered propofol and thiopental in dogs.


6 healthy mixed-breed dogs.


Each dog was anesthetized with isoflurane, then a thermistor catheter was inserted in the pulmonary artery. After a minimum of 2.5 hours of recovery, a catheter was placed in a cephalic vein for administration of lactated Ringer's solution and drugs. Propofol (8 mg/kg of body weight) or thiopental (19.4 mg/kg) was administered to each dog in a randomized crossover design study. All dogs were intubated and allowed to breathe 100% oxygen spontaneously. Heart rate and rhythm; systolic, diastolic, and mean arterial blood pressures; respiratory rate; end-tidal carbon dioxide concentration; tidal volume; and reflexes (toe web pinch, palpebral response, and jaw tone) were measured before and every 2 minutes for the first 10 minutes, then at 15, 30, and 60 minutes after drug administration. Cardiac output was determined at 0, 2, 6, 10, 15, 30, and 60 minutes, and blood samples were collected at 0, 2, 10, and 30 minutes. Time to endotracheal extubation, head lift, and ability to sit sternally and walk unaided were recorded.


3 of 6 dogs in each group were apneic after drug administration. Reflexes were decreased similarly for both anesthetic agents, but were not completely lost. Time to sternal position and walking unaided were significantly shorter in response to propofol.


Anesthesia was rapid; however, respiratory depression and apnea were major adverse effects associated with propofol and thiopental. Propofol has the advantage of inducing rapid, coordinated anesthesia recovery. (Am J Vet Res 1998;59:1137-1143)

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in American Journal of Veterinary Research