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OBJECTIVE To evaluate quality of recovery from general anesthesia in horses after induction with propofol and ketamine versus midazolam and ketamine.

DESIGN Prospective randomized crossover study.

ANIMALS 6 healthy adult horses.

PROCEDURES Horses were premedicated with xylazine (1.0 mg/kg [0.45 mg/lb], IV), and general anesthesia was induced with midazolam (0.1 mg/kg [0.045 mg/lb], IV) or propofol (0.5 mg/kg [0.23 mg/lb], IV), followed by ketamine (3.0 mg/kg [1.36 mg/lb], IV). Horses were endotracheally intubated, and anesthesia was maintained with isoflurane. After 60 minutes, horses were given romifidine (0.02 mg/kg [0.009 mg/lb], IV) and allowed to recover unassisted. Times to first movement, sternal recumbency, and standing and the number of attempts to stand were recorded. Plasma concentrations of propofol or midazolam were measured following induction and immediately before recovery. Recovery quality was scored by 3 graders with a recovery rubric and a visual analog scale.

RESULTS Number of attempts to stand was significantly lower when horses received propofol (median, 2; range, 1 to 3) than when they received midazolam (median, 7.5; range, 3 to 16). For both the recovery rubric and visual analog scale, recovery quality was significantly better when horses received propofol than when they received midazolam. Plasma drug concentration at recovery, as a percentage of the concentration at induction, was significantly lower when horses received propofol than when they received midazolam.

CONCLUSIONS AND CLINICAL RELEVANCE Results suggested that for horses undergoing short (ie, 60 minutes) periods of general anesthesia, recovery quality may be better following induction with propofol and ketamine, compared with midazolam and ketamine.

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in Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association