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A comparison of 3 anesthetic protocols for 24 hours of mechanical ventilation in cats


  • The authors declare no conflict of interest

  • Presented in abstract form at the International Veterinary Emergency and Critical Care Society meeting in San Antonio, TX in September 2010.

  • Funding for this study was provided by the Ontario Veterinary College, Pet Trust Fund.

Address correspondence and reprint requests to

Dr. Ainsley Boudreau, Department of Clinical Studies, Ontario Veterinary College, University of Guelph, 50 Stone Road, Guelph, ON N1G 2W1, Canada.




To compare the recovery times, recovery quality, and cardiovascular (CV) effects of 3 anesthetic protocols during 24 hours of mechanical ventilation (MV) in healthy cats.


Prospective, randomized, crossover study.


Research laboratory at a veterinary teaching hospital.


Six healthy intact male purpose-bred cats.


Each cat was randomly assigned to receive 3 anesthetic protocols for 24 hours of MV; Protocol K consisted of ketamine, Protocol P, propofol; and Protocol PK, propofol plus fixed-rate low-dose ketamine. Each infusion drug dose was adjusted using a sedation scoring system. All protocols included fixed doses of fentanyl (10 μg/kg/h) and midazolam (0.5 mg/kg/h).

Measurements and Main Results

Drug doses and recovery times were recorded. Recovery quality was scored. Blood gas results, CV parameters, and frequency of bradycardia or hypotension requiring interventions were recorded. The mean d dose ± standard error of K was 81.3 ± 3.3 μg/kg/m. The median dose (95% cardiac index) of propofol (μg/kg/m) in PK was 16.0 (13.1, 19.6) and in P was 48.1 (39.3, 58.9). P necessitated significantly more propofol than PK (P < 0.05). Protocol K (35.6 ± 3.2 hours) had significantly longer times to full recovery compared to P (18.2 ± 3.2 hours). Protocol K had significantly longer times to head up, crawling, and standing compared to P and PK. Cats sedated with PK (2.33 ± 0.47) required significantly more interventions for hypotension than K (0.50 ± 0.47). Protocol P (3.2 ± 0.4) and PK (1.4 ± 0.3) required significantly more interventions for bradycardia compared to K (0.8 ± 0.3). When comparing protocol K to P and PK, significant differences in blood pressure, lactate, oxygen delivery, and oxygen consumption were noted.


Cats anesthetized with P had shorter times to full recovery compared to K. Cats anesthetized with K required fewer interventions for bradycardia or hypotension but had longer recovery times compared to P or PK. Protocol PK reduced the propofol dose required to maintain optimal anesthesia.