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Objective—To compare 3 types of noxious stimuli applied to various anatomic areas of anesthetized dogs and rabbits for determination of the minimum alveolar concentration (MAC).

Animals—10 dogs and 10 rabbits.

Procedure—Dogs were anesthetized with isoflurane and halothane in a randomized order. Rabbits were anesthetized with isoflurane. The MAC was determined by skin incision on the lateral aspect of the chest; clamping of the tail, paw of the forelimb, and paw of the hind limb; and application of electrical current to the oral mucosa (dogs only), forelimb, and hind limb. The MAC was the end-tidal concentration midway between the value permitting and preventing purposeful movement in response to noxious stimuli.

Results—In dogs, mean ± SEM MAC for isoflurane was 1.27 ± 0.05% for clamping stimuli, 1.36 ± 0.04% for oral electrical stimulation, 1.35 ± 0.04% for electrical stimulation to the limbs, and 1.01 ± 0.07% for surgical incision. The MAC for halothane was 0.97 ± 0.03% for tail clamping, 0.96 ± 0.03% for clamping of the limbs, 1.04 ± 0.03% for electrical stimulation, and 0.75 ± 0.06% for surgical incision. In rabbits, MAC for isoflurane was 2.08 ± 0.02% for clamping stimuli, 2.04 ± 0.02% for electrical stimulation, and 0.90 ± 0.02% for surgical incision. The MAC for surgical incision was significantly lower than values for the other methods in both species.

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Use of electrical current and clamping techniques resulted in similar MAC values. Surgical incision underestimated MAC values in dogs and rabbits. (Am J Vet Res 2003;64:957–962)

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in American Journal of Veterinary Research