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  • Author or Editor: Lois A. Wetmore x
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To investigate whether premedication with hydromorphone alone or combined with acepromazine or dexmedetomidine affects the incidence of gastroesophageal reflux (GER) and regurgitation in dogs undergoing general anesthesia for elective orthopedic surgery.


39 healthy client-owned dogs undergoing general anesthesia for elective orthopedic surgery between November 2016 and November 2018.


For this prospective, randomized, controlled, blinded clinical trial, dogs were randomly assigned to be premedicated with hydromorphone (0.1 mg/kg, IM) alone (group H [control group]) or with either acepromazine (0.05 mg/kg, IM; group AH) or dexmedetomidine (6 μg/kg, IM; group DH) before undergoing general anesthesia induced with propofol and maintained with isoflurane. A pH sensor–tipped probe was used to identify episodes of GER (esophageal pH < 4 or > 7.5 for ≥ 30 seconds). Results for GER, regurgitation, vomiting, propofol dose, and durations of food withholding and anesthesia were compiled and compared across groups.


There were 13 dogs in each group, and no meaningful differences were detected in age, body weight, sex, breed, or durations of anesthesia or food withholding across groups. Overall, 16 of the 39 (41%) dogs developed GER: 9 in group H, 6 in group AH, and 1 in group DH. The incidence of GER was significantly lower for group DH versus group H. Six of the 39 (15%) dogs regurgitated: 4 in group H and 2 in group AH.


The combined use of dexmedetomidine and hydromorphone as premedication may be a better choice to reduce GER in healthy dogs undergoing orthopedic surgery than would the use of hydromorphone with or without acepromazine. Additional research is warranted. (Am J Vet Res 2021;82:695–700)

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in American Journal of Veterinary Research


OBJECTIVE To determine the locomotor response to the administration of fentanyl in horses with and without the G57C polymorphism of the μ-opioid receptor.

ANIMALS 20 horses of various breeds and ages (10 horses heterozygous for the G57C polymorphism and 10 age-, breed-, and sex-matched horses that did not have the G57C polymorphism).

PROCEDURES The number of steps each horse took was counted over consecutive 2-minute periods for 20 minutes to determine a baseline value. The horse then received a bolus of fentanyl (20 μg/kg, IV), and the number of steps was again counted during consecutive 2-minute periods for 60 minutes. The mean baseline value was subtracted from each 2-minute period after fentanyl administration; step counts with negative values were assigned a value of 0. Data were analyzed by use of a repeated-measures ANOVA.

RESULTS Data for 19 of 20 horses (10 horses with the G57C polymorphism and 9 control horses without the G57C polymorphism) were included in the analysis. Horses with the G57C polymorphism had a significant increase in locomotor activity, compared with results for horses without the polymorphism. There was a significant group-by-time interaction.

CONCLUSIONS AND CLINICAL RELEVANCE Horses heterozygous for the G57C polymorphism of the μ-opioid receptor had an increased locomotor response to fentanyl administration, compared with the response for horses without this polymorphism. The clinical impact of this finding should be investigated.

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in American Journal of Veterinary Research