To determine the prevalence of and covariates associated with the oculocardiac reflex (OCR) occurring in dogs during enucleations.
145 dogs that underwent enucleation at 2 veterinary teaching hospitals between January 2010 and June 2015.
Information was collected from the medical records of included dogs regarding age and body weight at hospital admission, breed (for classification of brachycephalic status), and whether they had received anticholinergic drugs or a retrobulbar nerve block (RNB) prior to enucleation. An OCR was considered to have occurred if there was a sudden decrease of ≥ 30% in heart rate from the baseline value (mean heart rate prior to the sudden decrease) during surgery in the absence of intraoperative administration of opioids or α2-adrenoceptor agonists. Associations were explored between the collected data and the prevalence of OCR by means of binomial logistic regression.
4.8% (7/145) of dogs had an OCR noted during enucleation. Dogs that received a preoperative RNB (n = 82) had significantly lower odds of an OCR being observed than dogs that received no preoperative RNB (OR, 0.12). No association with OCR was identified for age or brachycephalic conformation or for preoperative administration of anticholinergic drugs.
CONCLUSIONS AND CLINICAL RELEVANCE
These findings suggested that preoperative administration of an RNB, but not preoperative administration of anticholinergic drugs, was associated with a lower prevalence of OCR in dogs during enucleations.