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Vet Anaesth Analg. 2008 Mar;35(2):93-9. Epub 2007 Sep 7.

Thiopental and halothane dose-sparing effects of magnesium sulphate in dogs.

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Anaesthesia and Intensive Care Unit, Companion Animal Clinic, Department of Clinical Sciences, Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, Thessaloniki, Greece.



To evaluate the effect of pre- and intraoperatively administered magnesium sulphate (MgSO(4)) on the induction dose of thiopental and of halothane for maintenance of anaesthesia in dogs undergoing ovariohysterectomy (OHE).


Prospective, double-blind, randomized, placebo-controlled study.


Forty-six healthy, ASA physical status 1 dogs, scheduled for elective OHE.


The dogs were randomly assigned to receive a bolus of 50 mg kg(-1) MgSO(4) intravenously (IV), just before induction of anaesthesia, followed by a constant rate infusion (CRI) of 12 mg kg(-1) hour(-1) MgSO(4) intraoperatively (group Mg, n = 27) or a placebo bolus and CRI of 0.9% sodium chloride (NaCl) (group C, n = 19), approximately 30 minutes after premedication with acepromazine (0.05 mg kg(-1), intramuscularly, IM) and carprofen (4 mg kg(-1), subcutaneously, SC). Anaesthesia was induced with thiopental administered to effect and maintained with halothane in oxygen. End-tidal halothane (ET(hal)) was adjusted to achieve adequate depth of anaesthesia. Blood samples were obtained pre- and postoperatively for measurement of total serum magnesium concentration.


The mean dose of thiopental was statistically lower (p < 0.0005) and the mean standardized ET(hal) concentration and end-tidal carbon dioxide partial pressure (Pe'CO(2)) areas under the curve were statistically smaller (p < 0.0005 and 0.014 respectively) in group Mg. Postoperatively the mean total serum magnesium concentration was statistically higher than the preoperative value (p < 0.0005) in group Mg, but not in group C. Nausea, associated with the MgSO(4) bolus injection, was observed in six dogs in group Mg, two of which vomited prior to induction of anaesthesia.


Magnesium sulphate administration reduced the induction dose of thiopental and ET(hal) concentration for maintenance of anaesthesia in dogs undergoing OHE. Observed side effects were nausea and vomiting.

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