A Comparison between Medetomidine-Ketamine and Xylazine-Ketamine Anaesthesia in Rabbits

Authors: NUH KILIÇ

Abstract: The anaesthetic and cardiopulmonary effects of medetomidine-ketamine (MK) and xylazine-ketamine (XK) combinations were compared in rabbits. A total of 18 rabbits were randomly assigned to 2 different groups. The rabbits in the MK group (n = 9) were given 0.25 mg/kg of medetomidine and 50 mg/kg of ketamine intramuscularly. The XK group was given 4 mg/kg of xylazine and 50 mg/kg of ketamine via the same route. Data on reflexes (righting, ear pinch and pedal withdrawal) and cardiopulmonary parameters (heart rate, respiratory rate, mean blood pressure, and blood gas values) were recorded before and 5, 10, 15, 30, 45, 60, 75, 90 and 120 min after anaesthesia. Total sleep time, mean duration of loss of ear pinch reflex and mean duration of pedal withdrawal reflex were significantly longer in the MK group than in the XK group (P < 0.05). Duration of surgical anaesthesia was significantly longer in the MK group than in the XK group (P < 0.05). Both combinations caused moderate bradycardia, moderate or marked hypoxaemia, moderate hypercapnia and moderate acidosis. It was concluded that the MK combination provided suitable anaesthesia for rabbits, characterised by rapid induction and recovery as the arterial oxygen tension is reduced to hypoxaemic levels during the use of this combination, and the supplemental administration of oxygen is recommended.

Keywords: Medetomidine, xylazine, ketamine, anaesthesia, rabbit

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