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Dexmedetomidine–methadone–ketamine versus dexmedetomidine–methadone–alfaxalone for cats undergoing ovariectomy

Fernandez-Parra, Rocio, Adami, Chiara, Dresco, Thomas, Donnelly, Thomas M., Zilberstein, Luca
Veterinary anaesthesia and analgesia 2017 v.44 no.6 pp. 1332-1340
analgesia, anesthesia, cats, dexmedetomidine, fentanyl, heart rate, intravenous injection, ketamine, methadone, muscles, ovariectomy, pain, respiratory rate, systolic blood pressure
To compare the duration, quality of anaesthesia and analgesia, and quality of recovery of dexmedetomidine and methadone combined with either ketamine or alfaxalone.Randomized, prospective clinical trial.A group of 44 healthy client-owned cats presenting for ovariectomy.Cats were randomly assigned to one of the two treatment groups: DAM (n=22), which was administered intramuscularly (IM) dexmedetomidine (15 μg kg−1), methadone (0.3 mg kg−1) and alfaxalone (3 mg kg−1), and DKM (n=22), which was administered IM dexmedetomidine (15 μg kg−1), methadone (0.3 mg kg−1) and ketamine (3 mg kg−1). During anaesthesia, heart rate, respiratory rate and systolic arterial pressure were measured every 5 minutes. Cats that moved or had poor muscle relaxation were administered an additional 1 mg kg−1 of either alfaxalone (DAM) or ketamine (DKM) intravenously (IV). In cases of increased autonomic responses to surgical stimulation, fentanyl (2 μg kg−1) was administered IV. At the end of the surgery, atipamezole (75 μg kg−1) was administered IM, and the times to both sternal recumbency and active interaction were recorded. Quality of recovery was evaluated with a simple descriptive scale. The UNESP-Botucatu multidimensional composite pain scale and a visual analogue scale were used to evaluate postoperative analgesia at the return of active interaction and 1, 2 and 3 hours later.The additional anaesthesia and rescue fentanyl requirements were similar between groups. The quality of recovery was better in the DAM group than in the DKM group [simple descriptive scale scores: 0 (0–1) and 1 (0–3), respectively; p=0.002]. Postoperative pain scores decreased progressively over time in both groups, with no significant differences (p=0.08) between them.Both protocols provided comparable quality of anaesthesia and analgesia and were suitable for cats undergoing ovariectomy. In combination with methadone and dexmedetomidine, alfaxalone and ketamine showed comfortable and reliable recoveries.