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Objective—To compare the cardiopulmonary effects of continuous rate infusions (CRIs) of alfaxalone-2-hydroxypropyl-β-cyclodextrin (HPCD) and propofol in healthy dogs.

Animals—6 young adult medium-sized healthy crossbred dogs.

Procedures—A crossover design was used with a washout period of 6 days between anesthetic treatments. Each dog was sedated with acepromazine (0.02 mg/kg, IV) and hydromorphone (0.05 mg/kg, IV). Anesthesia was induced with propofol (4 mg/kg) or alfaxalone-HPCD (2 mg/kg). After endotracheal intubation, anesthesia was maintained with the same agent (propofol, 0.25 mg/kg/min; alfaxalone-HPCD, 0.07 mg/kg/min) for 120 minutes. Dogs spontaneously breathed 100% oxygen. Measurements included end-tidal partial pressure of carbon dioxide, heart and respiratory rates, mean arterial blood pressure, thermodilution-derived cardiac output, and body temperature. Paired arterial and mixed venous blood samples were collected for determination of blood pH, PaCO2, and PaO2. Data were recorded prior to induction; 5, 15, 30, 60, 90, and 120 minutes after induction of anesthesia; and 20 minutes after stopping the CRI, when feasible. Stroke volume and systemic vascular resistance were calculated. Quality of anesthetic induction and recovery and interval to recovery were recorded.

Results—Both propofol and alfaxalone-HPCD produced excellent induction of anesthesia, maintenance, and recovery. Respiratory depression was evident with both anesthetics. Clinically acceptable, mild hemodynamic changes were similar for both anesthetics.

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Alfaxalone-HPCD produced clinically acceptable anesthetic quality and hemodynamic values ideal for use as a CRI. Ventilation may need to be supported if hydromorphone is used at these propofol and alfaxalone-HPCD infusion rates.

Full access
in American Journal of Veterinary Research



To determine the pharmacokinetics of hydromorphone hydrochloride after IV and IM administration in guinea pigs (Cavia porcellus).


8 healthy adult guinea pigs (4 sexually intact females and 4 sexually intact males).


In a crossover study, hydromorphone (0.3 mg/kg) was administered once IM (epaxial musculature) or IV (cephalic catheter) to each guinea pig at a 1-week interval (2 treatments/guinea pig). Blood samples were collected before and at predetermined intervals after drug administration via a vascular access port. Plasma hydromorphone concentrations were determined by liquid chromatography–tandem mass spectrometry. Noncompartmental analysis of data was used to calculate pharmacokinetic parameters.


Mean ± SD clearance and volume of distribution for hydromorphone administered IV were 52.8 ± 13.5 mL/min/kg and 2.39 ± 0.479 L/kg, respectively. Mean residence time determined for the IV and IM administration routes was 0.77 ± 0.14 hours and 0.99 ± 0.34 hours, respectively. The maximum observed plasma concentration following IM administration of hydromorphone was 171.9 ± 29.4 ng/mL. No sedative effects were observed after drug administration by either route.


Pharmacokinetic data indicated that hydromorphone at a dose of 0.3 mg/kg may be administered IV every 2 to 3 hours or IM every 4 to 5 hours to maintain a target plasma concentration between 2 and 4 ng/mL in guinea pigs. Hydromorphone had high bioavailability after IM administration. Further research is necessary to evaluate the effects of other doses and administration routes and the analgesic effects of hydromorphone in guinea pigs.

Full access
in American Journal of Veterinary Research


Objective—To evaluate the antinociceptive effects of epidurally administered hydromorphone in conscious, healthy cats.

Animals—7 healthy adult cats.

Procedures—An epidural catheter was implanted in each cat. Thermal threshold (TT) was measured by increasing the temperature of a probe placed on the thorax and monitoring the cat's response. Mechanical threshold (MT) was measured by manually inflating a modified blood-pressure bladder affixed to a thoracic limb and monitoring the response. After the baseline TT and MT values were determined, hydromorphone (0.05 mg/kg) or an equal volume of saline (0.9% NaCl) solution was epidurally injected. The TT and MT were again measured at 15, 30, 45, 60, 120, 180, 240, 300, 360, and 480 minutes after injection.

Results—TT and MT did not change significantly from baseline values at any point after saline solution was administered. The MT and TT values were significantly higher than the baseline value at 15 minutes and at 120 and 180 minutes after hydromorphone administration, respectively. The MT and TT values after hydromorphone administration were also significantly different from those obtained at 30 minutes and at 15 minutes and 120 to 300 minutes, respectively, after administration of saline solution. No significant changes in skin temperature were detected after either treatment.

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Epidural administration of hydromorphone at a dosage of 0.05 mg/kg yielded thermal and some mechanical antinociceptive effects in cats, and no hyperthermia was detected. Additional studies of the antinociceptive effectiveness and duration of epidurally administered hydromorphone in clinical situations are required.

Full access
in American Journal of Veterinary Research


Objective—To evaluate the pharmacokinetics and thermal and mechanical antinociceptive effects of a fentanyl constant rate infusion (CRI) in conscious cats.

Animals—8 healthy adult cats.

Procedures—At a ≥ 14-day interval, 7 cats received a loading dose (LD) of fentanyl (5 μg/kg, IV [administered at 0 hours]) followed by fentanyl infusion (5 μg/kg/h, IV) for 2 hours or similar administrations of equivalent volumes of 0.9% saline (NaCl) solution. One cat received only the fentanyl treatment. For both treatments, sedation and adverse events were evaluated and mechanical threshold (MT) and thermal threshold (TT) testing was performed prior to (baseline) and at predetermined times up to 26 hours after LD administration; plasma fentanyl concentrations were determined at similar times when the cats received fentanyl.

Results—Fentanyl induced mild sedation during the infusion. The only adverse effect associated with fentanyl LD administration was profuse salivation (1 cat). Saline solution administration did not significantly change MT or TT over time. For the duration of the CRI, MT and TT differed significantly between treatments, except for TT 1 hour after LD administration. For the fentanyl treatment, MT and TT were significantly higher than baseline at 0.25 to 0.75 hours and at 0.25 to 1 hour, respectively. During the fentanyl CRI, mean ± SD plasma fentanyl concentration decreased from 4.41 ± 1.86 ng/mL to 2.99 ± 1.28 ng/mL and was correlated with antinociception; plasma concentrations < 1.33 ± 0.30 ng/mL were not associated with antinociception.

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Fentanyl CRI (5 μg/kg/h) induced mechanical and thermal antinociception in cats.

Full access
in American Journal of Veterinary Research