Maintenance of anaesthesia with sevoflurane and oxygen in mechanically-ventilated horses subjected to exploratory laparotomy treated with intra- and post operative anaesthetic adjuncts. Academic Article uri icon


  • Eight healthy horses premedicated with xylazine and induced with ketamine were used to evaluate sevoflurane in oxygen for maintenance of anaesthesia during elective exploratory laparotomy. After orotracheal intubation, horses were hoisted, placed in dorsal recumbency on a padded surgery table, and received sevoflurane in oxygen for maintenance of anaesthesia. The horses were allowed to breathe spontaneously until instrumented; then, they were mechanically ventilated to maintain the PaCO2 between 35 and 45 mmHg. Systolic (SAP), diastolic (DAP), and mean (MAP) arterial blood pressures, heart rate (HR), ECG, respiratory rate, an estimation of the saturation of haemoglobin with oxygen in peripheral arterial blood (S(p)O2), nasal temperature, end-tidal CO2(ET(CO2)), end-tidal sevoflurane (ET(SEVO)), and vaporiser concentration were recorded every 5 min post induction; arterial blood samples were obtained soon after induction, at 30 min after induction, and every hour thereafter until surgery was completed. Recovery data including times from the sevoflurane vaporiser being turned off to first movement, to sternal recumbency, and to standing, number of attempts to stand, and recovery score (between 1 = safe, smooth and 6 = stormy, major injury to horse) were collected. Analysis of variance was performed using physiological data collected over 195 min of anaesthesia, the longest time period during which all 8 horses were instrumented. Time effects (P<0.05) for HR, SAP, DAP, MAP, and nasal temperature were identified. Heart rate peaked at 45 min and declined over the course of the procedure. Arterial blood pressure generally decreased over time. Body temperature decreased over time. From 15 to 195 min mean ET(SEVO)concentration ranged from 2.0 to 3.3%, while mean vaporiser settings ranged from 3.7 to 5.5%. Three horses received intra-operative ketamine; all horses received dobutamine infusions; and 2 horses received intra-operative calcium-dextrose. Total anaesthesia time was 222-316 min (mean+/-s.d.269+/-31 min). Time from turning the sevoflurane vaporiser off to first movement was mean +/-s.d.18+/-15 min; to sternal recumbency was 54+/-22 min; to standing was 65+/-27 min; and to returning the horse to the stall in the ward was 78+/-24 min. Six horses stood on the first attempt; 2 horses stood on the second attempt. The median recovery score was one (1-3). In conclusion, sevoflurane provided a stable, easily controllable anaesthetic plane during prolonged exploratory laparotomies; horses experienced smooth, safe recoveries after maintenance of anaesthesia with sevoflurane following routine anaesthetic induction and post operative xyalzine administration.

published proceedings

  • Equine Vet J

author list (cited authors)

  • Carroll, G. L., Hooper, R. N., Rains, C. B., Martinez, E. A., Matthews, N. S., Hartsfield, S. M., & Beleau, M. H.

citation count

  • 32

complete list of authors

  • Carroll, GL||Hooper, RN||Rains, CB||Martinez, EA||Matthews, NS||Hartsfield, SM||Beleau, MH

publication date

  • September 1998