Evaluation of Xylazine, Acepromazine and Medetomidine with Ketamine for General Anaesthesia in Rabbits

  • X Amarpal Division of Surgery, Indian Veterinary Research Institute
  • P Kinjavdekar, Division of Surgery, Indian Veterinary Research Institute
  • H P Aithal Division of Surgery, Indian Veterinary Research Institute
  • A M Pawde Division of Surgery, Indian Veterinary Research Institute
  • Jasmit Singh Division of Surgery, Indian Veterinary Research Institute
  • Rahul Udehiya Division of Surgery, Indian Veterinary Research Institute

Abstract

A randomized, prospective, blinded experimental study was conducted in 32 rabbits of either sex to compare  the anaesthetic and physiological effects of ketamine with different pre-anaesthetics. Rabbits were  randomly divided into 4 equal groups. Xylazine 6 mg/kg in animals of group xylazine-ketamine (XK), acepromazine  2 mg/kg in animals of group acepromazine-ketamine (AK), medetomidine 125 μg/kg in group  medetomidine-ketamine 1 (MK1) or medetomidine 250 μg/kg in group medetomidine-ketamine 2 (MK2)  were administered by intramuscular injection (IM). Five minutes later, ketamine 60 mg/kg was administered  intramuscularly to all the groups. The rabbits were observed for the onset of weak time, down time,  the time to loss of righting reflex, pedal reflexes and response to surgical stimuli. Heart rate, respiratory  rate and rectal temperature and arterial oxygen saturation of haemoglobin (SpO2) were recorded up to 60  min. Weak time, down time and time to loss of righting reflex were the shortest in animals of group MK2  as compared to the other groups. Pedal reflexes remained intact in all the animals of XK group, but were  abolished in 50% of the AK group, 75% of the MK1 group and 100% of animals in the MK2 group. Pain  was evinced during surgery by all the animals in group XK, 5 animals in group AK and 4 animals in group  MK1. The best analgesia was achieved in the animals of group MK2, where none of the animals showed  pain on surgical stimulation. Heart rate and SpO2 decreased significantly (P<0.01) in the animals of groups  XK, MK1 and MK2 but respiratory rate and rectal temperature decreased significantly (P<0.01) in all the  groups. However, all the animals recovered from anaesthesia without complications. It was concluded that  medetomidine 250 µg/kg and ketamine 60 mg/kg produced excellent anaesthesia to allow pain free surgery  and may be considered suitable for anaesthesia in New Zealand White rabbits. 

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