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Am J Vet Res. 1990 Apr;51(4):595-7.

Potency of rapidly acting barbiturates in dogs, using inhibition of the laryngeal reflex as the end point.

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  • 1Department of Veterinary Clinical Studies, University of Sydney, NSW, Australia.


Thiopental, thiamylal, and methohexital were administered to 30 dogs to determine equipotent doses necessary to inhibit laryngeal reflexes. The doses studied were 7.1, 10.0, 14.1, 20.0, and 28.3 mg of thiopental/kg of body weight; 5.7, 8.0, 11.3, 16.0, and 22.6 mg of thiamylal/kg; and 3.5, 5.0, 7.1, 10.0, and 14.1 mg of methohexital/kg. At 1, 2.5, 5, and 10 minutes after injection, the presence or absence of the laryngoscopic reflex, pedal reflex, and jaw tone were recorded. The times for return of each reflex, as well as the ability to walk 10 steps without assistance, were also recorded. Using the method of least squares, a probit analysis was performed on the quantal responses at 1 minute. The effective dose in 50% of the population for the laryngoscopic reflex was chosen as the end point for intubation, and the computed doses necessary to achieve this end point were 19.4 mg of thiopental/kg, 18.4 mg of thiamylal/kg, and 9.7 mg of methohexital/kg. When potencies of the drugs were compared with that of thiopental (1), thiamylal was found to be equipotent (1.06) and methohexital twice as potent (2.0). At the accepted clinical dose, recovery times for thiopental (71.1 +/- 7.2 minutes) and thiamylal (75.3 +/- 7.7 minutes) were similar, and twice that for methohexital (33.9 +/- 4.6 minutes).

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