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Can Vet J. 2001 Jun;42(6):455-60.

[Anesthesia of the New Zealand rabbit using the the combination of tiletamine-zolazepam and ketamine-midazolam with or without xylazine].

[Article in French]

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Département de sciences cliniques, Faculté de médecine vétérinaire, Université de Montréal, C.P. 5000, Saint-Hyacinthe, Québec J2S 7C6.


In this study, anesthesia levels obtained with tiletamine-zolazepam (TZ) and ketamine-midazolam (KM) with or without xylazine (X) were compared in rabbits. Reflexes (corneal, palpebral and withdrawal), blood parameters (PaO2, PaCO2, pH and ions HCO3-), cardiovascular function (heart rate and mean arterial blood pressure) and body temperature were evaluated before and after the injections of the anesthetic combination in the same rabbits (n = 10). With KM and TZ, no suppression of reflexes occurred. The body temperature and pH decreased and HCO3- increased similarly to KMX et TZX. Some physiological and blood parameters were less (PAM, PaCO2) and not (PaO2) affected comparatively to KMX et TZX. These protocols were of short duration of action and did not offer any anesthesia or analgesia. Therefore, their utilization should be restricted to short procedures where no painful manipulations are performed. Ketamine-midazolam-xylazine and tiletamine-zolazepam-xylazine on the other hand are indicated for interventions that require anesthesia. With these combinations, all reflexes were absent for 30-45 and 60-90 min following injections of KMX et TZX, respectively. However, these combinations induce cardiac depression, as well as a decrease of all measured blood parameters and body temperature and a reduction of PaO2. Supplementation with oxygen is recommended with the introduction of xylazine in the protocol.

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