Objective—To evaluate serial blood gas values and lactate concentrations in 3 fish species undergoing surgery and to compare blood lactate concentrations between fish that survived and those that died during the short-term postoperative period.
Design—Prospective cohort study.
Animals—10 yellow perch, 5 walleye pike, and 8 koi.
Procedures—Blood samples were collected from each fish at 3 time points: before anesthesia, during anesthesia, and immediately after surgery. Blood gas values and blood lactate concentrations were measured. Fish were monitored for 2 weeks postoperatively.
Results—All walleye and koi survived, but 2 perch died. Blood pH significantly decreased in perch from before to during anesthesia, but increased back to preanesthesia baseline values after surgery. Blood Pco2 decreased significantly in perch from before anesthesia to immediately after surgery, and also from during anesthesia to immediately after surgery, whereas blood Pco2 decreased significantly in koi from before to during anesthesia. Blood Po2 increased significantly in both perch and koi from before to during anesthesia, and also in koi from before anesthesia to immediately after surgery. For all 3 species, blood lactate concentrations increased significantly from before anesthesia to immediately after surgery. Blood lactate concentration (mean ± SD) immediately after surgery for the 8 surviving perch was 6.06 ± 1.47 mmol/L, which was significantly lower than blood lactate concentrations in the 2 nonsurviving perch (10.58 and 10.72 mmol/L).
Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—High blood lactate concentrations following surgery in fish may be predictive of a poor short-term postoperative survival rate.