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Vet Anaesth Analg. 2005 Mar;32(2):94-100.

Blood gas and acid-base status during tiletamine/zolazepam anaesthesia in dogs.

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Clinic of Surgery, Department of Clinical Sciences, Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, Thessaloniki, Greece.



To evaluate the effect of the tiletamine/zolazepam (TZ) combination (Zoletil 100; Virbac, Carros, France) with and without atropine on blood gas values and acid-base status in dogs.


Randomized cross-over experimental study.


Six healthy adult cross-bred dogs, weighing 11.0-18.5 kg.


Each dog received four different drug treatments at intervals of at least 15 days: (i) 5 mg kg(-1) intravenous (IV) TZ (TZ.IV); (ii) 10 mg kg(-1) intramuscular (IM) TZ (TZ.IM); (iii) atropine, 20 microg kg(-1) IV, followed 5 minutes later by 5 mg kg(-1) TZ IV (A.TZ.IV); and (IV) atropine (same dose) given 5 minutes before 10 mg kg(-1) TZ IM (A.TZ.IM). Arterial blood samples were collected from each dog before drug administration (baseline) at induction of anaesthesia (time 0) and 2, 5, 10 and 30 minutes thereafter.


Transient hypoxaemia and respiratory acidosis were observed just after induction. PaO(2) and SaO(2) dropped, while H(+) concentration and PaCO(2) rose significantly above baseline values. In groups TZ.IV and A.TZ.IV, PaO(2) values as low as 6.0-6.4 kPa (45-48 mm Hg) were recorded. However, there was no significant difference in blood gas variables among the groups encountered during the evaluation period. The overall change in [HCO(3) (-)] and base excess (BE) was not significant among groups. Atropine did not affect the above variables.


Tiletamine/zolazepam injection may induce transient hypoxaemia and respiratory acidosis, but acid-base status changes are clinically unimportant. Particularly, close observation of dogs is recommended during the first 5-10 minutes after induction with TZ, especially in animals with cardiopulmonary disease. TZ should perhaps not be used in animals intolerant of tachycardia.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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