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  • Author or Editor: Bonnie D. Wright x
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in Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association


Objective—To determine induction doses, anesthetic constant rate infusions (CRI), and cardiopulmonary effects of propofol in red-tailed hawks and great horned owls and propofol pharmacokinetics in the owls during CRI.

Animals—6 red-tailed hawks and 6 great horned owls.

Procedure—The CRI dose necessary for a loss of withdrawal reflex was determined via specific stimuli. Anesthesia was induced by IV administration of propofol (1 mg/kg/min) and maintained by CRI at the predetermined dose for 30 minutes. Heart and respiratory rates, arterial blood pressures, and blood gas tensions were obtained in awake birds and at various times after induction. End-tidal CO2 (ETCO2) concentration and esophageal temperature were obtained after induction. Propofol plasma concentrations were obtained after induction and after completion of the CRI in the owls. Recovery times were recorded.

Results—Mean ± SD doses for induction and CRI were 4.48 ± 1.09 mg/kg and 0.48 ± 0.06 mg/kg/min, respectively, for hawks and 3.36 ± 0.71 mg/kg and 0.56 ± 0.15 mg/kg/min, respectively, for owls. Significant increases in PaCO2, HCO3, and ETCO2 in hawks and owls and significant decreases in arterial pH in hawks were detected. A 2-compartment model best described the owl pharmacodynamic data. Recovery times after infusion were prolonged and varied widely. Central nervous system excitatory signs were observed during recovery.

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Effects on blood pressure were minimal, but effective ventilation was reduced, suggesting the need for careful monitoring during anesthesia. Prolonged recovery periods with moderate-to-severe excitatory CNS signs may occur in these species at these doses. (Am J Vet Res 2003;64:677–683)

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in American Journal of Veterinary Research


Case Description—A 5-year-old male German Shepherd Dog was evaluated because of a 5-month history of progressive lethargy, weight loss, and heart failure.

Clinical Findings—On physical examination, bounding femoral pulses and systolic and diastolic murmurs were detected. Echocardiography revealed severe aortic valve insufficiency (AVI) and a large vegetative lesion on the aortic valve consistent with aortic valve endocarditis. The AVI velocity profile half-time was 130 milliseconds; the calculated peak systolic pressure gradient across the aortic valve was 64 mm Hg. Left ventricular diameter during diastole was 63.6 mm (predicted range, 40.2 to 42 mm) and during systole was 42.9 mm (predicted range, 25.4 to 27 mm). Systolic, diastolic, and mean arterial blood pressures were 120, 43, and 65 mm Hg, respectively.

Treatment and Outcome—To palliate severe AVI, the descending aorta was occluded (duration, 16.75 minutes) and heterotopic implantation of a porcine bioprosthetic heart valve in that vessel was performed. After surgery, systolic, diastolic, and mean arterial blood pressures were 115, 30, and 61 mm Hg, respectively, in the forelimb and 110, 62, and 77 mm Hg, respectively, in the hind limb. Within 6 months, the AVI velocity profile half-time had increased to 210 milliseconds, indicating diminished severity of AVI. After 24 months, the dog was able to engage in vigorous exercise; no pulmonary edema had developed since surgery.

Clinical Relevance—Heterotopic bioprosthetic heart valve implantation into the descending aorta during brief aortic occlusion appears feasible in dogs and may provide substantial palliation for dogs with severe AVI.

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in Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association