Objective To determine whether hyoscine has a sparing effect on the volume of dobutamine required to maintain mean arterial pressure (MAP) at 70 mmHg in horses anaesthetized with halothane.
Study design Prospective, randomized, controlled clinical trial.
Animals Twenty adult horses weighing 507 ± 97 kg (mean ± SD), aged 10 ± 5 years.
Materials and methods Pre-anaesthetic medication in all horses was intramuscular (IM) acepromazine (40 μg kg−1) and intravenous (IV) detomidine (0.02 mg kg−1). Anaesthesia was induced with ketamine (2.2 mg kg−1 IV) and diazepam (0.02 mg kg−1 IV), and maintained with halothane in oxygen. Horses breathed spontaneously. Flunixin (1.1 mg kg−1 IV) was given to provide analgesia. Heart rate, ECG, invasive arterial pressure, respiratory rate, percentage end-tidal carbon dioxide, percentage end-tidal halothane and partial pressure of oxygen and carbon dioxide in arterial blood and blood pH were monitored. Dobutamine was infused by an infusion pump to maintain MAP at 70 mmHg. Horses were randomly assigned to receive saline or hyoscine (0.1 mg kg−1) IV 30 minutes after induction. The heart rate, MAP and volume of dobutamine infused over 30-minute periods were measured and analysed statistically using a one-way anova.
Results After administration of hyoscine, heart rate increased for 10 minutes (p < 0.01) and MAP for 5 minutes (p < 0.01). There was no difference in the volume of dobutamine infused over 30 minutes between horses given hyoscine or saline, although there was a wide individual variation in dobutamine requirements. No side effects of hyoscine were seen.
Conclusions The increase in heart rate and blood pressure that occurs after 0.1 mg kg−1 hyoscine is given IV in anaesthetized horses, is of short duration and does not significantly alter the amount of dobutamine required to maintain arterial pressure over the next 30 minutes.
Clinical relevance The short duration of action of 0.1 mg kg−1 hyoscine IV may limit its usefulness for correction of hypotension in horses anaesthetized with halothane. Further work is necessary to investigate the effects of higher or repeated doses or constant rate infusions of hyoscine.