Effects of Medetomidine-Ketamine Combination Anaesthesia on Electrocardiographic Findings, Body Temperature, and Heart and Respiratory Rates in Domestic Pigeons


Abstract: The applications of medetomidine (M) as a pre-anaesthetic and ketamine (K) as an anaesthetic agent were investigated in seven domestic pigeons in terms of the degree of anaesthesia (DA) and alterations in physiological parameters. An intramuscular (IM) injection of M (200 µg/kg) was followed by administration of K (120 mg/kg, IM) after 10 min. Body temperature (BT), respiratory rate (RR), heart rate (HR), DA, and electrocardiogram (ECG) findings were determined before (0 min) and 10 min after the application of M, and 5, 15, 30, 45 and 60 min after the administration of K. All pigeons had 4^{th} degree anaesthesia and a significant decrease (p < 0.01) in HR was observed starting from the 10^{th} min and lasting until the end of the anaeasthesia period. RR was significantly decreased at the 10^{th} min of pre-anaesthesia (p < 0.01). Following K application, RR increased at the 5^{th} min and stayed high until the 30^{th} min, but decreased again afterwards. HR decreased dramatically during pre-anaesthesia (p < 0.01) and gradually during anaesthesia (p < 0.05). An obvious prolongation of P-R and R-R intervals was the only ECG finding. It was observed that BT constantly decreased during pre-anaesthesia and anaesthesia (p < 0.05 or p < 0.001). In conclusion, it was found that M + K combination anaesthesia caused alterations in the physiological parameters in pigeons, but they did not possess a life threatening effect. The application of M + K at these dose levels might produce a reliable and deep anaesthesia lasting 15 to 60 min.

Keywords: Ketamine, medetomidine, anaesthesia, physiological changes, pigeon

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