A comparison of ketamine-midazolam and ketamine-medetomidine combinations for induction of anaesthesia in rabbits

Nicola J Grint, Pamela J Murison

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract / Description of output

OBJECTIVE: To compare ketamine-midazolam (KMZ) and ketamine-medetomidine (KMT) anaesthesia in rabbits using anaesthetic induction, maintenance and recovery data.

STUDY DESIGN: Randomized, prospective, blinded clinical trial.

ANIMALS: Fifty rabbits (25 male, 25 female) of different breeds undergoing ovariohysterectomy or castration. Rabbits were 12.7 +/- 9.8 months old with body mass 2.24 +/- 0.61 kg.

STUDY DESIGN: Randomized, prospective, blinded clinical trial.

METHODS: Ketamine (15 mg kg(-1)) and midazolam (3 mg kg(-1)) or medetomidine (0.25 mg kg(-1)) were administered by intramuscular (IM) injection. Ten minutes after IM injection, blind intubation of the trachea was attempted. The time taken, the number of attempts and a subjective score of the ease of intubation were recorded. Isoflurane (range 0-3.6%) in 100% oxygen was delivered via a Jackson Rees modification of an Ayre's T-piece non-rebreathing system. Carprofen (3 mg kg(-1)) and dextrose saline (5 mL kg(-1) hour(-1)) were administered intravenously (IV). During surgery heart rate (HR), respiratory rate (RR) and arterial oxygen saturation of haemoglobin (SpO(2)) were monitored. Times to extubation and first head lift were recorded. Group KMT received atipamezole (0.5 mg kg(-1)) IM 30 minutes after discontinuation of isoflurane. Activity was scored at 30, 60 and 120 minutes after volatile agent discontinuation. Mean time to loss of righting reflex (LRR), body mass, RR and vaporizer setting were compared using a two-tailed t-test. Median values for all other data were compared using a Mann-Whitney test.

RESULTS: Mean time to LRR (+/-SD) was significantly shorter with KMT (1.64 +/- 0.55 minutes) compared with KMZ (2.28 +/- 0.66 minutes). Intubation was not possible in seven rabbits (three with KMT, four with KMZ) and three with KMT developed laryngospasm. Mean HR, SpO(2) and vaporizer settings were all significantly lower in group KMT.

CONCLUSION AND CLINICAL RELEVANCE: KMT has a faster onset of action and a greater isoflurane-sparing effect when compared with KMZ. Rabbits with KMT were more prone to laryngospasm and had significantly lower HR.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)113-21
Number of pages9
JournalVeterinary Anaesthesia and Analgesia
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2008

Keywords / Materials (for Non-textual outputs)

  • Analgesics
  • Anesthesia
  • Anesthesia Recovery Period
  • Anesthetics, Combined
  • Animals
  • Blood Gas Analysis
  • Double-Blind Method
  • Female
  • Heart Rate
  • Hypnotics and Sedatives
  • Injections, Intramuscular
  • Ketamine
  • Male
  • Medetomidine
  • Midazolam
  • Oxygen
  • Prospective Studies
  • Rabbits
  • Respiration
  • Treatment Outcome


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