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Intravenous anaesthesia in horses using medetomidine and propofol
What is the `optimal` anaesthesia for horses? A difficult question. At least medetomidine┬ľpropofol infusions for total intravenous anaesthesia, as evaluated in this brandnew study, seem to be a very suitable option in horses.

Fifty client-owned horses of mixed breed, age [mean ┬▒ SD (range)] 6.6 ┬▒ 4.4 (0.04┬ľ18) years, mass 478 ┬▒ 168.3 (80┬ľ700) kg presented for a range of operations requiring general anaesthesia.

Pre-anaesthetic medication was intravenous (IV) medetomidine 7 μg kg1.
Anaesthesia was induced with IV ketamine (2 mg kg1) and diazepam (0.02 mg kg1).
After endotracheal intubation, O2 was delivered (FiO2 > 0.85).

Positive pressure ventilation was initiated if breath-holding in excess of 1 minute occurred. Anaesthesia was maintained with a constant rate medetomidine infusion (3.5 μg kg1 hour1) and propofol infused IV to effect (initial dose 0.1 mg kg1 minute1).

Heart (HR) respiratory (fr) and propofol administration rates, and systemic arterial blood pressures were recorded at 5-minute intervals.

Arterial blood gas (O2 and CO2) tensions and pH values were recorded every 15 minutes.

Ten minutes after ending medetomidine┬ľpropofol infusion, medetomidine (2 μg kg1; IV) was given.

Cardiopulmonary data were analysed using descriptive statistical techniques.

Results: Thirty-three orthopaedic, seven integumentary and 10 elective abdominal operations were performed.

Cardiopulmonary data, presented as range of mean individual (and absolute individual minimum and maximum values) were: HR: 28.0┬ľ39.2 (16┬ľ88) beats minute1; mean arterial blood pressure: 74.0┬ľ132.5 (42┬ľ189) mmHg; PaO2: 22.1┬ľ42.9 (4.9┬ľ67.8) kPa; [166┬ľ322 (37┬ľ508) mmHg], PaCO2: 6.7┬ľ8.1 (4.2┬ľ11.8) kPa [50┬ľ61 (32┬ľ88) mmHg] and pH 7.35┬ľ7.39 (7.15┬ľ7.48).

Positive pressure ventilation was required in 23 horses.

In three horses, HR values below 20 beats minute1 were treated with 20 μg kg1 atropine (IV). Mean propofol infusion rates were 98┬ľ108 μg kg1 minute1.

During anaesthesia, movement occurring in 14 horses was controlled with thiopental. Duration of anaesthesia was 111.6 ┬▒ 41.4 (46┬ľ225) minutes.

Recovery in all horses was uneventful and completed within 42.2 ┬▒ 19.8 (12┬ľ98) minutes.

Medetomidine┬ľpropofol infusion produces adequate conditions for a range of surgical procedures. Cardiovascular function was adequate, as no pressor agents were required. Positive pressure ventilation was required in 23 horses.



Source: Bettschart-Wolfensberger, Regula, Kalchofner, Karin, Neges, Karin, K├Ąstner, Sabine & F├╝rst, Anton (2005): Total intravenous anaesthesia in horses using medetomidine and propofol. In: Veterinary Anaesthesia and Analgesia 32 (6), 348-354.





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EQUINE

Theiler┬┤s disease in a Trakehner caused by contaminated tetanus vaccinemembers
An 11ÔÇÉyearÔÇÉold Trakehner gelding was presented for evaluation of lethargy, decreased appetite, mild icterus, and elevated hepatic enzyme activities. Physical examination, serum chemistry results, and liver biopsy histopathologic findings were supportive of Theiler`s disease. Polymerase chain reaction (PCR) testing results of serum and liver tissue were positive for nonprimate (equine) hepacivirus (NPHV) and a novel equine parvovirusÔÇÉhepatitis virus (EqPVÔÇÉH). A serious and finally fatal problem, caused by contaminated vaccine.

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