This study was completed at the University of Florida College of Veterinary Medicine. A portion of this work was presented at the 2010 ACVS Veterinary Symposium and the 10th International Equine Colic Research Symposium.
Systemic Effects of a Prolonged Continuous Infusion of Ketamine in Healthy Horses
Article first published online: 22 JUL 2011
Copyright © 2011 by the American College of Veterinary Internal Medicine
Journal of Veterinary Internal Medicine
Volume 25, Issue 5, pages 1134–1137, September/October 2011
How to Cite
Elfenbein, J.R., Robertson, S.A., Corser, A.A., Urion, R.J. and Sanchez, L.C. (2011), Systemic Effects of a Prolonged Continuous Infusion of Ketamine in Healthy Horses. Journal of Veterinary Internal Medicine, 25: 1134–1137. doi: 10.1111/j.1939-1676.2011.0761.x
- Issue published online: 20 SEP 2011
- Article first published online: 22 JUL 2011
- Submitted March 22, 2011; Revised April 25, 2011; Accepted June 6, 2011.
Background: Ketamine as continuous rate infusion (CRI) provides analgesia in hospitalized horses.
Objective: Determine effects of prolonged CRI of ketamine on gastrointestinal transit time, fecal weight, vital parameters, gastrointestinal borborygmi, and behavior scores in healthy adult horses.
Animals: Seven adult Thoroughbred or Thoroughbred cross horses, with permanently implanted gastric cannulae.
Methods: Nonblinded trial. Random assignment to 1 of 2 crossover designed treatments. Ketamine (0.55 mg/kg IV over 15 minutes followed by 1.2 mg/kg/h) or lactated Ringer's solution (50 mL IV over 15 minutes followed by 0.15 mL/kg/h) treatments. Two hundred 3 × 5 mm plastic beads administered by nasogastric tube before drug administration. Every 2 hours vital parameters, behavior scores recorded, feces collected and weighed, and beads retrieved. Every 6 hours gastrointestinal borborygmi scores recorded. Study terminated upon retrieval of 180 beads (minimum 34 hours) or maximum 96 hours. Nontransit time data analyzed between hours 0 and 34.
Results: No significant (P < .05) differences detected between treatments in vital signs or gastrointestinal borborygmi. Significant (P = .002) increase in behavior score during ketamine infusion (0.381) from hours 24–34 compared with placebo (0). Ketamine caused significant delay in passage of 25, 50, and 75% of beads (ketamine = 30.6 ± 5.3, 41.4 ± 8.4, 65.3 ± 13.5 hours versus placebo = 26.8 ± 7.9, 34.3 ± 11.1, 45.8 ± 19.4 hours), and significant (P < .05) decrease in fecal weight from hours 22 (12.6 ± 3.2 versus 14.5 ± 3.8 kg) through 34 (18.5 ± 3.9 versus 12.8 ± 6.4 kg) of infusion.
Conclusions and Clinical Importance: Ketamine CRI delayed gastrointestinal transit time in healthy horses without effect on vital parameters.