Cardiovascular, respiratory and sedative effects of intramuscular alfaxalone, butorphanol and dexmedetomidine compared with ketamine, butorphanol and dexmedetomidine in healthy cats

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Objectives The aim of the study was to evaluate the cardiorespiratory effects, quality of sedation and recovery of intramuscular alfaxalone-dexmedetomidine-butorphanol (ADB) and ketamine-dexmedetomidine-butorphanol (KDB), in cats. Methods Nine adult, healthy cats (6.63 ± 1.42 kg) were enrolled in a blinded, randomized, crossover experimental design. Cats were sedated twice intramuscularly, once with ADB (alfaxalone 1 mg/kg, dexmedetomidine 0.005 mg/kg, butorphanol 0.2 mg/kg), and once with KDB (ketamine 5 mg/kg, dexmedetomidine 0.005 mg/kg, butorphanol 0.2 mg/kg), in random order. Data collected included heart rate (HR), arterial blood pressure and blood gas analysis, respiratory rate and sedation score. Analysis of variance with Bonferroni post-hoc correction was used for parametric data, and a Wilcoxon signed rank test was used for non-parametric data. Significance was set at P <0.05. Results Total sedation time was shorter for ADB (90.71 ± 15.12 mins vs 147.00 ± 47.75 mins). Peak sedation was observed within 15 mins in both groups. Quality of recovery was excellent in both groups. HR decreased over time in both groups. Diastolic and mean arterial pressure decreased over time for ADB, becoming significant after 30 mins. All cardiovascular variables were within the clinically acceptable range in both groups. Arterial partial pressure of oxygen was significantly decreased from baseline for KDB at all time points (73 ± 2.5 mmHg [9.7 ± 0.3 kPa] vs ADB 83 ± 2.6 mmHg [11 ± 0.3 kPa]). Hypoventilation was not observed. Conclusions and relevance Both protocols produced acceptable cardiovascular stability. Sedation and recovery quality were good, albeit sedation was shorter with ADB. Although oxygenation was better maintained in the ADB group, all sedated cats should receive oxygen supplementation.

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Journal of feline medicine and surgery

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