Ruíz-López, P., Cuypers, C., Schauvliege, S. 2023. Xylazine infusion during equine colic anesthesia with isoflurane and lidocaine: A retrospective study. Animals 13(18), 2902.

This retrospective study investigated the effect of a xylazine infusion on heart rate; mean arterial pressure; blood gases; anesthetic and dobutamine requirements; recovery quality and duration; percentage of death/survival; and days to die/discharge in horses after colic surgery under partial intravenous anesthesia with isoflurane and lidocaine infusion. Anesthetic records of equine colic surgery were reviewed from similar periods in 2020–2021 and 2021–2022. In both groups, after sedation with xylazine 0.7 mg/kg intravenously (IV) and induction with ketamine 2.2 mg/kg and midazolam 0.06 mg/kg IV, anesthesia was maintained with isoflurane and lidocaine (bolus 1.5 mg/kg IV, infusion 2 mg/kg/h). Group L (2020–2021, n = 45) received xylazine 0.2 mg/kg IV before recovery, group XL (2021–2022, n = 44) received xylazine 0.5 mg/kg/h IV intraoperatively. In group XL, minimal (p = 0.04) and average (p = 0.04) heart rate, intraoperative hematocrit (p = 0.001), minimal (p = 0.002) and maximal (p = 0.04) dobutamine administration rate, animals requiring ketamine top-ups (p = 0.04), and the number of days to discharge (p = 0.02), were significantly lower compared to group L. During recovery in group XL, the time to sternal recumbency (p = 0.03) and time to first attempt (p = 0.04) were significantly longer. This retrospective study suggests that a xylazine infusion may have beneficial effects on horses undergoing colic surgery. Further prospective studies are necessary.

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