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  • Author or Editor: Olivier Levionnois x
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Objective—To investigate effects of isoflurane at approximately the minimum alveolar concentration (MAC) on the nociceptive withdrawal reflex (NWR) of the forelimb of ponies as a method for quantifying anesthetic potency.

Animals—7 healthy adult Shetland ponies.

Procedure—Individual MAC (iMAC) for isoflurane was determined for each pony. Then, effects of isoflurane administered at 0.85, 0.95, and 1.05 iMAC on the NWR were assessed. At each concentration, the NWR threshold was defined electromyographically for the common digital extensor and deltoid muscles by stimulating the digital nerve; additional electrical stimulations (3, 5, 10, 20, 30, and 40 mA) were delivered, and the evoked activity was recorded and analyzed. After the end of anesthesia, the NWR threshold was assessed in standing ponies.

Results—Mean ± SD MAC of isoflurane was 1.0 ± 0.2%. The NWR thresholds for both muscles increased significantly in a concentration-dependent manner during anesthesia, whereas they decreased in awake ponies. Significantly higher thresholds were found for the deltoid muscle, compared with thresholds for the common digital extensor muscle, in anesthetized ponies. At each iMAC tested, amplitudes of the reflex responses from both muscles increased as stimulus intensities increased from 3 to 40 mA. A concentration-dependent depression of evoked reflexes with reduction in slopes of the stimulus-response functions was detected.

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Anesthetic-induced changes in sensory-motor processing in ponies anesthetized with isoflurane at concentrations of approximately 1.0 MAC can be detected by assessment of NWR. This method will permit comparison of effects of inhaled anesthetics or anesthetic combinations on spinal processing in equids.

Full access
in American Journal of Veterinary Research


Objective—To evaluate pharmacokinetics of ketamine and norketamine enantiomers after constant rate infusion (CRI) of a subanesthetic dose of racemic ketamine or S-ketamine in ponies.

Animals—Five 6-year-old Shetland pony geldings that weighed between 101 and 152 kg.

Procedures—In a crossover study, each pony received a CRI of racemic ketamine (loading dose, 0.6 mg/kg; CRI, 0.02 mg/kg/min) and S-ketamine (loading dose, 0.3 mg/kg; CRI, 0.01 mg/kg/min), with a 1-month interval between treatments. Arterial blood samples were collected before and at 5, 15, 30, 45, and 60 minutes during drug administration and at 5, 10, 30, and 60 minutes after discontinuing the CRI. Plasma ketamine and norketamine enantiomers were quantified by use of capillary electrophoresis. Individual R-ketamine and S-ketamine concentration-versus-time curves were analyzed by use of a monocompartmental model. Plasma disposition curves for R-norketamine and S-norketamine were described by estimating the area under the concentration-versus-time curve (AUC), maximum concentration (Cmax), and time until Cmax.

Results—Plasma concentrations of S-ketamine decreased and biodegradation products increased more rapidly after S-ketamine CRI, compared with results after racemic ketamine CRI. The R-norketamine was eliminated faster than was the S-norketamine. Significant differences between treatments were found for the AUC of S-ketamine and within the racemic ketamine CRI for the AUC and Cmax of norketamine isomers.

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—CRI of S-ketamine may be preferable over CRI of racemic ketamine in standing equids because the S-enantiomer was eliminated faster when infused alone instead of as part of a racemic mixture.

Full access
in American Journal of Veterinary Research