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Clinical measurements performed during alfaxalone total intravenous anaesthesia for radiography and neurophysiological investigations in dogs

Harris, James R.; Goff, Megan; Jenkins, Helen; Harris, John; Knowles, Toby B.; Lascelles, B. Duncan; Whay, Helen R.; Murrell, Joanna C.


James R. Harris

Megan Goff

Helen Jenkins

Assistant Professor

Toby B. Knowles

B. Duncan Lascelles

Helen R. Whay

Joanna C. Murrell


Objective: To describe clinically relevant, physiological measurements collected during a 3- hour duration alfaxalone total intravenous anaesthesia.
Study design: Case series.
Animals: A total of 112 client-owned middle aged or older dogs.
Methods: Dogs were premedicated with intramuscular acepromazine (0.03 mg kg-1). Anaesthesia was induced and subsequently maintained for up to 3 hours with alfaxalone administered intravenously. Dogs breathed 100% oxygen via an endotracheal tube. Heart rate, respiratory rate, and blood pressure were evaluated 30 minutes after administration of acepromazine and used as baseline values for comparisons of intra-anaesthetic data. Blood glucose was measured one week prior to anaesthesia and every hour during alfaxalone anaesthesia. Quality and duration of recovery were recorded. Mean data for physiological variables were compared over three time points; before induction of anaesthesia, forthe first hour of anaesthesia and from 60 minutes to discontinuation of anaesthesia.
Results: Mean induction dose of alfaxalone was 1.4 (95% CI 1.3 - 1.5) mg kg-1. Post induction apnoea for greater than 60 seconds occurred in 13 (11.6%) dogs. Mean alfaxalone infusion rate during the first 60 minutes of anaesthesia was 0.099 mg kg-1 minute-1; from 60 minutes until discontinuation of anaesthesia, mean infusion rate was 0.092 mg kg-1 minute-1. Heart rate was well maintained; hypotension (mean arterial blood pressure less than 60 mmHg) was encountered in 23 (21%) of dogs. Blood glucose levels did not alter during anaesthesia. Median time between discontinuation of alfaxalone infusion and extubation was 17 (7 – 35 minutes), time to assuming sternal recumbency was 75 (58 - 110 minutes), and time to standing was 109 (88 - 140 minutes).
Conclusions and clinical relevance: Alfaxalone infusion provided effective anaesthesia in this population. In a minority of cases respiratory and haemodynamic support of the patient was required.


Harris, J. R., Goff, M., Jenkins, H., Harris, J., Knowles, T. B., Lascelles, B. D., …Murrell, J. C. (2019). Clinical measurements performed during alfaxalone total intravenous anaesthesia for radiography and neurophysiological investigations in dogs. Veterinary Anaesthesia and Analgesia, 46(4), 483-487.

Journal Article Type Article
Acceptance Date Nov 30, 2018
Online Publication Date Mar 14, 2019
Publication Date 2019-07
Deposit Date Dec 19, 2018
Publicly Available Date Mar 15, 2020
Journal Veterinary Anaesthesia and Analgesia
Print ISSN 1467-2987
Electronic ISSN 1467-2995
Publisher Wiley
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 46
Issue 4
Pages 483-487
Keywords General Veterinary
Public URL
Publisher URL


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