Effect of xylazine on the arrhythmogenic dose of epinephrine in thiamylal/halothane-anesthetized horses

James S. Gaynor From the Department of Veterinary Clinical Sciences, The Ohio State University. Columbus, OH 43210.

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Richard M. Bednarski From the Department of Veterinary Clinical Sciences, The Ohio State University. Columbus, OH 43210.

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William W. Muir III From the Department of Veterinary Clinical Sciences, The Ohio State University. Columbus, OH 43210.

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Summary

The effect of xylazine on the arrhythmogenic dose of epinephrine (ade) was studied in 9 horses. Anesthesia was induced by administration of guaifenesin (50 mg/kg of body weight, iv) followed by thiamylal (4 to 6 mg/kg, iv) and was maintained at 1 minimal alveolar concentration (mac) of halothane (0.89%). Base apex ecg and facial artery pressure were recorded. Epinephrine was infused in a sequence of arithmetically spaced increasing rates (initial rate 0.25 µg/kg/min) for a maximum of 10 minutes. The ade was defined as the lowest epinephrine infusion rate to the nearest 0.25 µg/kg/min at which at least 4 premature ventricular depolarizations occurred in a 15- second period. Xylazine (1.1 mg/kg, iv) was administered after the control ade was determined. Xylazine did not significantly alter the ade (control, 1.12 ± 0.38 µg/kg/ min; xylazine, 1.21 ± 0.46 µg/kg/min). Blood pressure increased transiently for 8 minutes after xylazine administration. Baseline systolic and diastolic arterial pressures and heart rate were not significantly different from control baseline pressures and heart rate 15 minutes after xylazine administration. Blood pressure and heart rate increased significantly during control and xylazine ade determinations. Significant differences in pH, Pao2, Paco2, or base excess were not observed between baseline and ade in the control or xylazine groups. One horse developed atrial fibrillation, and 2 horses developed ventricular fibrillation during ade determinations.

Summary

The effect of xylazine on the arrhythmogenic dose of epinephrine (ade) was studied in 9 horses. Anesthesia was induced by administration of guaifenesin (50 mg/kg of body weight, iv) followed by thiamylal (4 to 6 mg/kg, iv) and was maintained at 1 minimal alveolar concentration (mac) of halothane (0.89%). Base apex ecg and facial artery pressure were recorded. Epinephrine was infused in a sequence of arithmetically spaced increasing rates (initial rate 0.25 µg/kg/min) for a maximum of 10 minutes. The ade was defined as the lowest epinephrine infusion rate to the nearest 0.25 µg/kg/min at which at least 4 premature ventricular depolarizations occurred in a 15- second period. Xylazine (1.1 mg/kg, iv) was administered after the control ade was determined. Xylazine did not significantly alter the ade (control, 1.12 ± 0.38 µg/kg/ min; xylazine, 1.21 ± 0.46 µg/kg/min). Blood pressure increased transiently for 8 minutes after xylazine administration. Baseline systolic and diastolic arterial pressures and heart rate were not significantly different from control baseline pressures and heart rate 15 minutes after xylazine administration. Blood pressure and heart rate increased significantly during control and xylazine ade determinations. Significant differences in pH, Pao2, Paco2, or base excess were not observed between baseline and ade in the control or xylazine groups. One horse developed atrial fibrillation, and 2 horses developed ventricular fibrillation during ade determinations.

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