Vullo, C., Carluccio, A., Robbe, D. et al. 2017. Guaiphenesin-ketamine-xylazine infusion to maintain anesthesia in mules undergoing field castration. Acta Veterinaria Scandinavica 59(1), 67.

In order to determine whether a combination of guaiphenesin, ketamine and xylazine can induce safe and satisfactory anaesthesia in mules undergoing field castration, eight healthy adult intact male mules were employed. They were premedicated with intravenous (IV) xylazine (1.3 mg/kg); an additional dose of xylazine (0.3 mg/kg IV) was administered in case of inadequate depth of sedation. Anaesthesia was induced with IV thiopental (6 mg/kg). The quality of sedation and induction was recorded. Anaesthesia was maintained with an infusion of guaiphenesin (50 mg/mL), ketamine (2 mg/mL) and xylazine (1 mg/mL) (GKX). The spermatic cord of each testis was infiltrated with 5 mL of 2% lidocaine. During anaesthesia heart rate (HR), respiratory rate (RR), rectal temperature (RT) and haemoglobin oxygen saturation (SpO2) were measured every 5 min. The data were analysed with simple one-way analysis of variance (ANOVA). A P value < 0.05 was considered statistically significant. Time of anesthesia, time of surgery and time of recovery were recorded. Only one mule required an additional dose of xylazine to achieve a satisfactory depth of sedation. Thiopental at the dose of 6 mg/kg IV resulted in smooth induction and lateral recumbency in all animals. GKX provided adequate anaesthesia to perform castration in all mules. Muscle relaxation was deemed adequate and physiological variables remained stable and within references values during the anaesthesia and did not change in response to surgical stimulation. Time (mean ± standard deviation) from the end of the infusion to sternal recumbency and time from sternal recumbency to standing were 27.7 ± 4.6 and 30.1 ± 7.7 min, respectively. The combination of xylazine, thiopental and GKX provides satisfactory short-term anaesthesia in mules undergoing field castration.

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