Balanced anesthetic techniques in dogs and cats.

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69 Scopus citations


The term "balanced anesthesia" refers to the use of a mixture of drugs, such that the advantages of small amounts of drugs are used without having to contend with the disadvantages of large doses of any one drug. In veterinary practice, inhalant drugs are usually administered alone to maintain anesthesia, and balanced anesthetic techniques are rare. Unfortunately, cardiopulmonary function is reduced in dose-dependent fashion by inhalant drugs and deepening the level of anesthesia in order to modify autonomic responses to noxious stimuli may increase morbidity and mortality. This article justifies the use of balanced anesthetic techniques in veterinary practice and describes the advantages gained by the use of nitrous oxide, continuous opioid infusion, epidural/spinal opioid administration, and transdermal opioid administration. These techniques, described in detail in the article, are easy to learn, relatively inexpensive, may decrease patient morbidity and mortality, and will provide the veterinarian with smoother operating conditions.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)27-37
Number of pages11
JournalClinical Techniques in Small Animal Practice
Issue number1
StatePublished - Feb 1999

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • veterinary(all)


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