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Comparison of electroacupuncture and butorphanol on respiratory and cardiovascular effects and rectal pain threshold after controlled rectal distention in mares

Skarda, Roman T., Muir, William W. III
American journal of veterinary research 2003 v.64 no.2 pp. 137-144
analgesia, bicarbonates, bladder, blood pressure, butorphanol, carbon dioxide, heart, mares, normal values, oxygen, pH, pain, rectum, respiratory rate, sodium chloride, spine (bones), temperature, total solids
Objective-To compare effects of electroacupuncture and butorphanol on hemodynamic and respiratory variables and rectal analgesia in mares after controlled rectal distention. Animals-8 healthy mares. Procedure-Each horse received saline (0.9% NaCl) solution (0.01 mL/kg, IV; control treatment), butorphanol tartrate (0.1 mg/kg, IV), or 2 hours of electroacupuncture (EA) at acupoints Bladder 21, 25, and 27 on both sides of the vertebral column, Bai hui, and Stomach 36 (right side only). Order of treatments in each mare was randomized. At least 7 days elapsed between treatments. A balloon was inserted in the rectum of each mare, and controlled distention of the balloon (pressures of ≤ 220 mm Hg) was used to measure nociceptive rectal pain threshold. Rectal temperature and cardiovascular and respiratory variables were measured before (baseline) and 5, 15, 30, 60, 90, and 120 minutes after onset of each treatment. Results-Butorphanol produced greater increases in rectal pain threshold, compared with EA (mean +/- SD, 214 +/- 24 vs 174 +/- 35 mm Hg of balloon pressure). Electroacupuncture produced minimal cardiovascular and respiratory changes. Although clinically not important, butorphanol produced moderate significant increases in heart and respiratory rates, arterial blood pressure, and rectal temperature and decreases in arterial oxygen tension. Arterial pH, carbon dioxide tension, bicarbonate concentrations, base excess, Hct, and concentration of total solids were not significantly different from baseline values after EA, butorphanol, and control treatments. Conclusions and Clinical Relevance-Electroacupuncture and butorphanol (0.1 mg/kg, IV) may provide useful rectal analgesia in horses.