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Journal: Veterinary anaesthesia and analgesia


OBJECTIVE: To compare a towel under, a warm water pad under or a forced warm air blanket over dogs as techniques to reduce heat loss during a standardized anesthetic. STUDY DESIGN: Prospective, randomized, crossover study. ANIMALS: Eight, healthy, mixed breed dogs weighing 16.3-19.6 kg. METHODS: Dogs were anesthetized four times for 90 minutes. Dogs were placed on a steel table (treatment TA), with a cotton towel (treatment TO) or a circulating warm water pad (treatment WP) between the dog and the table, or with, a towel under the dog and covered with a forced warm air blanket (treatment WAB). Rectal temperature (RT) was recorded at 5 minute intervals. Changes in temperature (ΔRT) were calculated as the RT at a given point subtracted from the RT before anesthesia (baseline) and compared over time. RESULTS: After 90 minutes of anesthesia, the ΔRT was 3.42 °C ± 0.29 for TA, 2.78 °C ± 0.43 for TO, 1.98 °C ± 0.29 for WP, and 0.91 °C ± 0.27 for WAB. Significant differences in ΔRT occurred between TA and WAB at 20 minutes (0.94 °C ± 0.42, p = 0.0206), between TO and WAB at 30 minutes (1.16 °C ± 0.62, p = 0.0063), between WP and WAB at 50 minutes (0.96 °C ± 0.98, p = 0.0249), between TA and WP at 35 minutes (1.19 °C ± 0.54, p = 0.0091), between TO and WP at 70 minutes (1.12 °C ± 0.56, p = 0.0248), and between TA and TO at 75 minutes (0.96 °C ± 0.62, p = 0.0313). These differences in ΔRT between each treatment persisted from the times indicated until the end of the anesthesia. CONCLUSION AND CLINICAL RELEVANCE: During anesthesia, forced warm air blankets were superior to other methods tested for limiting heat loss. An efficient heat loss technique should be used for anesthesia longer than 20 minutes duration in medium sized dogs.

Concepts: Crossover study, Thermodynamics, Heat, Anesthesia, Selective breeding, Dog breed, Anesthetic, Mixed-breed dog


Objective  To evaluate the physiological effect and response to noxious stimulation at five concentrations of MS-222 in koi (Cyprinus carpio). Study design  Prospective experimental study. Animals  Twenty-one healthy adult unknown sex koi fish weighing mean 450 ± SD 120 g. Methods  Each fish was exposed to five different concentrations of MS-222 (50, 70, 110, 150 and 190 mg L(-1) ) in a random sequence during the same anaesthetic event. For each concentration of MS-222, vital functions such as heart rate (HR) (via Doppler) and opercular rate (OpR) were recorded after a standardized induction period. Response to two noxious stimuli in the form of haemostat clamp pressure applied on the tail and the lip was evaluated, and blood was drawn to measure biochemical and blood gas values. Results  Decrease in response to noxious stimulation with an increase of MS-222 concentration both for the lip (p = 0.0027) and the tail (p < 0.0001) stimulus was observed. Biochemical values were unaffected by the concentration of MS-222 with the exception of lactate concentration which was weakly correlated with the duration of anaesthesia (r = 0.31, p < 0.001) and the number of times the fish was clamped or bled prior to sampling (r = 0.23, p < 0.001). Opercular rate decreased with the increase in anaesthetic concentration, and HR was not affected. Conclusions and clinical relevance  Our results indicated a decrease in response to stimulus and a decrease in OpR that were associated with increased concentrations of MS-222. This may assist in establishing anaesthetic protocols using MS-222 in fish and supports the use of supramaximal pressure stimuli to teleost fish under variable MS-222 concentrations as a model for future studies.

Concepts: Measurement, Koi, Common carp, Carp, Cyprinidae, Cyprinus, Goldfish, Cypriniformes


OBJECTIVES: To investigate the character of immobilization given by alfaxalone in juvenile crocodiles at optimal and at suboptimal temperatures. STUDY DESIGN: Prospective, randomized partial crossover study. ANIMALS: Twenty captive male estuarine (weight 0.6-2.5 kg) and five captive male freshwater crocodiles (weight 0.2-0.6 kg). METHODS: Crocodiles were acclimatized for 24 hours at one of the following environmental temperatures; 32 °C, 27 °C, 22 °C or 17 °C, then received 3 mg kg-1 intravenous (IV) alfaxalone into the dorsal occipital venous sinus. Duration and quality of immobilization was assessed and heart rate (HR) measured. On a separate occasion each crocodile was immobilized at one other environmental temperature. RESULTS: Alfaxalone, 3 mg kg-1 IV, produced immobilization for 55 (range 15-100 minutes in estuarine, and 20 (range 20-25) minutes in freshwater crocodiles at 32 °C. There was no significant difference overall in immobilization times between temperatures, other than that, in estuarine crocodiles, duration was shorter at 32 °C than 22 °C. The character of immobilization was unpredictable, with animals recovering without warning, or having extended recoveries requiring assisted ventilation. Assisted ventilation was necessary mainly at the lower temperatures. Median HR in all temperature treatments decreased within 5 minutes post-injection, but the change in HR over the duration of immobilization was affected by the temperature, with a progressively smaller range of fall as temperature decreased. At 17 °C, two estuarine crocodiles appeared to re-immobilize after initial recovery, became severely bradycardiac and required ventilation and re-warming. CONCLUSIONS AND CLINICAL RELEVANCE: Alfaxalone IV in small captive estuarine and freshwater crocodiles provides adequate induction of immobilization at various temperatures. However, the unpredictable results following induction mean it is unsuitable for field use and should be restricted to environments where intubation and ventilation are available, where animals can be warmed to optimal temperature, and where access to immersion in water can be restricted for 24 hours.

Concepts: Reptile, Crocodile, Saltwater Crocodile, Crocodiles, Reptiles of Australia, Crocodylidae, Freshwater Crocodile


OBJECTIVE: To determine the efficacy of medetomidine for immobilisation of captive juvenile crocodiles over a range of temperatures, and its reversibility with atipamezole. STUDY DESIGN: Prospective experimental study. ANIMALS: Forty male estuarine crocodiles (body weight 2.0 to 4.8 kg). METHODS: Each crocodile was randomly assigned to one of four temperature groups: Group 1:32 °C; Group 2:27 °C; Group 3:22 °C; and Group 4:17 °C (n = 10 for each group). Medetomidine (0.5 mg kg(-1) ) was administered intramuscularly (IM) into the thoracic limb of all crocodiles. After 50 minutes, all animals from each group received 2.5 mg kg(-1) atipamezole IM in the opposite thoracic limb and time to recovery was documented. Heart and respiratory rates and the degree of immobilisation were monitored every 5 minutes until recovery, and behaviour monitored for 7 subsequent days. RESULTS: Onset of immobilisation occurred at 15 ± 10 minutes in Group 1, and at 30 ± 10 minutes in Groups 2 and 3. In Group 4, animals were not immobilised. Recovery following atipamezole was 10 ± 5 minutes at all temperatures. One-way analysis of variance (anova) demonstrated a significant difference in induction times between groups (p < 0.01) but not in recovery times following atipamezole administration (p < 0.25). Heart and respiratory rates decreased markedly following medetomidine administration and increased markedly following atipamezole reversal. CONCLUSIONS AND CLINICAL RELEVANCE: Medetomidine administered in the thoracic limb of juvenile captive estuarine crocodiles provides profound sedation or immobilisation at temperatures of 22 °C and above. Atipamezole administered in the contralateral thoracic limb results in consistent reversal of the effects of medetomidine and a return to normal behaviour within 15-20 minutes regardless of temperature. Even though immobilisation is not induced at 17 °C, profound reversible sedation does occur reliably and repeatably.

Concepts: Variance, Temperature, Reptile, Normal distribution, Analysis of variance, Crocodile, Saltwater Crocodile, Crocodiles


OBJECTIVE: To evaluate the interobserver variability in the assignment of the American Society of Anesthesiologists Physical Status Classification (ASA-PSC) to compromised small animal patients amongst a group of veterinary anaesthetists. STUDY DESIGN: Anonymous internet survey. ANIMALS: Hypothetical case presentations. METHODS: Sixteen hypothetical small animal cases with differing degrees of physiological or patho-physiological compromise were presented as part of an internet survey. Respondents were asked to assign a single ASA-PSC to each case and also to answer a number of demographic questions. ASA-PSC scores were considered separately and then grouped as scores of I-II and III-V. Agreement was analysed using the modified kappa statistic for multiple observers. Data were then sorted into various demographic groups for further analysis. RESULTS: There were 144 respondents of which 60 (~42%) were anaesthesia diplomates, 24 (~17%) were post-residency (nondiploma holders), 24 (~17%) were current anaesthesia residents, 21 (~15%) were general practitioners, 12 (~8%) were veterinary nurses or technicians, and 3 (~2%) were interns. Although there was a majority agreement (>50% in a single category) in 15 of the 16 cases, ASA-PSC were spread over at least three ASA-PS classifications for every case. Overall agreement was considered only fair (κ = 0.24, mean ± SD agreement 46 ± 7%). When comparing grouped data (ASA-PSC I-II versus III-V) overall agreement remained fair (κ = 0.36, mean ± SD agreement 69 ± 19%). There was no difference in ASA-PSC assignment between any of the demographic groups investigated. CONCLUSIONS AND CLINICAL RELEVANCE: This study suggests major discrepancies can occur between observers given identical information when using the ASA-PSC to categorise health status in compromised small animal patients. The significant potential for interobserver variability in classification allocation should be borne in mind when the ASA-PSC is used for clinical, scientific and statistical purposes.

Concepts: Scientific method, Surgery, Anesthesia, ASA physical status classification system, Anesthesiologist, Australian and New Zealand College of Anaesthetists


Quantitative neuromuscular monitoring is essential for studies of potency and duration of neuromuscular blocking agents, and for detecting residual paralysis in anesthetized patients. This investigation evaluates whether there are systematic differences between acceleromyography (AMG) and electromyography (EMG); two quantitative methods for monitoring neuromuscular block.

Concepts: Psychology, Sociology, Social sciences


To examine the cardiopulmonary effects of infusions of remifentanil or morphine, and their influence on recovery of horses anesthetized with isoflurane and dexmedetomidine.

Concepts: Opioid, Infusion, Infusion pump


To assess agreement between infrared (IR) analysers and a refractometer for measurements of isoflurane, sevoflurane and desflurane concentrations and to demonstrate the effect of customized calibration of IR analysers.

Concepts: Sevoflurane, Desflurane, Isoflurane


The objective of this study was to investigate the existence of an equine pain face and to describe this in detail.

Concepts: Rick Ross


To compare the efficacy of a medetomidine constant rate infusion (CRI) with a detomidine CRI for standing sedation in horses undergoing high dose rate brachytherapy.