PROCEDURES Baseline rectal temperature, heart rate, and respiratory rate were recorded prior to premedication with buprenorphine (0.02 mg/kg, IM) and acepromazine (0.05 mg/kg, IM). Anesthesia was induced with midazolam or diazepam (0.25 mg/kg, IV) plus ketamine (5 mg/kg, IV; n = 11) or propofol (4 mg/kg, IV; 12) and maintained with isoflurane in oxygen. Rectal temperature was measured at hospital intake, prior to premedication, immediately after anesthetic induction, and every 5 minutes after anesthetic induction. Esophageal temperature was measured every 5 minutes during anesthesia, beginning 30 minutes after anesthetic induction. After anesthesia, dogs were covered with a warm-air blanket and rectal temperature was measured every 10 minutes until normothermia (37°C) was achieved.
RESULTS Dogs in both treatment groups had lower rectal temperatures within 5 minutes after anesthetic induction and throughout anesthesia. Compared with dogs that received a benzodiazepine plus ketamine, dogs that received a benzodiazepine plus propofol had significantly lower rectal temperatures and the interval from discontinuation of anesthesia to achievement of normothermia was significantly longer.
CONCLUSIONS AND CLINICAL RELEVANCE Dogs in which anesthesia was induced with a benzodiazepine plus propofol or ketamine became hypothermic; the extent of hypothermia was more profound for the propofol combination. Dogs should be provided with adequate heat support after induction of anesthesia, particularly when a propofol-benzodiazepine combination is administered.
As community efforts to reduce the overpopulation and euthanasia of unwanted and unowned cats and dogs have increased, many veterinarians have increasingly focused their clinical efforts on the provision of spay-neuter services. Because of the wide range of geographic and demographic needs, a wide variety of spay-neuter programs have been developed to increase delivery of services to targeted populations of animals, including stationary and mobile clinics, MASH-style operations, shelter services, community cat programs, and services provided through private practitioners. In an effort to promote consistent, high-quality care across the broad range of these programs, the Association of Shelter Veterinarians convened a task force of veterinarians to develop veterinary medical care guidelines for spay-neuter programs. These guidelines consist of recommendations for general patient care and clinical procedures, preoperative care, anesthetic management, surgical procedures, postoperative care, and operations management. They were based on current principles of anesthesiology, critical care medicine, infection control, and surgical practice, as determined from published evidence and expert opinion. They represent acceptable practices that are attainable in spay-neuter programs regardless of location, facility, or type of program. The Association of Shelter Veterinarians envisions that these guidelines will be used by the profession to maintain consistent veterinary medical care in all settings where spay-neuter services are provided and to promote these services as a means of reducing sheltering and euthanasia of cats and dogs.