Objective—To assess the effects of ketamine hydrochloride, propofol, or compounded thiopental sodium administration on intraocular pressure (IOP) and qualities of induction of and recovery from anesthesia in horses.
Animals—6 healthy adult horses.
Procedures—Horses were sedated with xylazine hydrochloride (0.5 mg/kg), and anesthesia was induced with guaifenesin followed by ketamine (2 mg/kg), propofol (3 mg/kg), or thiopental (4 mg/kg) in a crossover study with ≥ 1 week between treatments. For each horse, IOP in the right eye was measured with a handheld applanation tonometer before and after xylazine administration, at the time of recumbency, and every 3 minutes after induction of anesthesia until spontaneous movement was observed. Cardiorespiratory responses and venous blood measurements were recorded during anesthesia. Induction of and recovery from anesthesia were subjectively evaluated by investigators who were unaware of the anesthetic treatment of each horse. Data were analyzed via a repeated-measures ANOVA with Holm-Ŝidák post hoc comparisons.
Results—Compared with findings after xylazine administration (mean ± SD, 17 ± 3 mm Hg), thiopental decreased IOP by 4 ± 23%, whereas propofol and ketamine increased IOP by 8 ± 11% and 37 ± 16%, respectively. Compared with the effects of ketamine, propofol and thiopental resulted in significantly lower IOP at the time of recumbency and higher heart rates at 3 minutes after induction of anesthesia. No other significant differences among treatments were found.
Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—These findings support the use of thiopental or propofol in preference to ketamine for horses in which increases in IOP should be minimized.