Objective - To compare characteristics of horses recovering from 4 hours of desflurane anesthesia with and without immediate postanesthetic IV administration of propofol and Animals - 8 healthy horses (mean ± SEM age, 6.6 ± 1.0 years; mean body weight, 551 ± 50 kg). Procedures - Horses were anesthetized twice. Both times, anesthesia was induced with a combination of xylazme hydrochloride, diazepam, and ketamine hydrochloride and then maintained for 4 hours with desflurane in oxygen. Choice of postanesthetic treatment was randomly assigned via a crossover design such that each horse received an IV injection of propofol and xylazme or saline (0.9% NaCl) solution after the anesthetic episode. Recovery events were quantitatively and qualitatively assessed. Venous blood samples were obtained before and after anesthesia for determination of serum creatine kinase activity and plasma propofol concentration. Results - Anesthetic induction and maintenance were unremarkable in all horses. Compared with administration of saline solution, postanesthetic administration of propofol and xylazine resulted in an increased interval to emergence from anesthesia but improved quality of recovery-related transition to standing. Compared with administration of saline solution, administration of propofol also delayed the rate of decrease of end-tidal concentrations of desflurane and carbon dioxide and added to conditions promoting hypoxemia and hypoventilation. Conclusions and Clinical Relevance - Propofol and xylazine administered IV to horses after 4 hours of desflurane anesthesia improved the quality of transition from lateral recumbency to standing but added potential for harmful respiratory depression during the postanesthetic period.
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