The optimal intravenous dose of midazolam after intravenous ketamine in healthy awake cats

Jan Ilkiw, C. Suter, D. McNeal, T. B. Farver, E. P. Steffey

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The effects of intravenous administration of variable-dose midazolam (0, 0.05, 0.075, 0.1, 0.3 and 0.5 mg/kg) and ketamine (3 mg/kg) were studied in twenty-four healthy unmedicated cats from time of administration until full recovery. End-points were chosen to determine the optimal dose to allow a short period of restraint without noxious stimuli, a short period of restraint with noxious stimuli and endotracheal intubation. Recovery characteristics, as well as undesirable behaviours observed during recovery, were also recorded. The dose of midazolam to achieve lateral recumbency with head down was found to be 0.016 mg/kg in 50% of the population (ED50) and 0.054 mg/kg in 95% (ED95) of the population. A midazolam dose of 0.286 mg/kg was required to prevent conscious perception of a stimulus to the ulnar nerve in 50% of the population and 0.652 mg/kg in 95% of the population. The ED50 and ED95 of midazolam required to prevent swallowing in response to a laryngoscope placed on the back of the tongue were found to be 0.265 mg/kg and 0.583 mg/kg, respectively. The ED50 doses of 0.265 mg/kg for intubation and 0.286 mg/kg for restraint with noxious stimulation were close to the tested dose of 0.3 mg/kg. At that dose, the lack of responses lasted 3.67 ± 2.27 min for laryngoscope and 2.50 ± 2.20 min for ulnar nerve stimulation, with recovery to walking with ataxia taking 41.50 ± 15.18 min and complete recovery taking 3.6 ± 1.3 h. The predominant behavioural pattern during recovery was found to be normal, but some cats also exhibited abnormal behavioural patterns. Nine of the twelve cats exhibited an abnormal arousal state, with 4 being restless and 5 being sedated. Seven of the twelve cats exhibited an abnormal behaviour when approached, with three of the cats being more difficult to approach and four of the cats being easier to approach. Eight of the twelve cats exhibited an abnormal behavioural pattern when restrained, with the cats equally divided between more difficult and easier to restrain. Five of the twelve cats vocalized more during the recovery. The ED50 of 0.042 mg/kg to induce chemical restraint without a noxious stimulus is close to the tested dose of 0.05 mg/kg. At that dose, cats remained lateral with head down for 5.49 ± 4.02 min, took 25.96 ± 5.77 min to walk with ataxia and 1.7 ± 0.4 h for complete recovery. The predominant behavioural patterns during recovery were normal, with several cats exhibiting some abnormal patterns. Two cats were sedated, one cat was more difficult to approach, one cat was easier to restrain and three cats were more vocal.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)54-61
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Veterinary Pharmacology and Therapeutics
Issue number2
StatePublished - 1998


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pharmacology
  • veterinary(all)

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