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Am J Vet Res. 1986 Oct;47(10):2105-12.

Barbiturate anesthesia in greyhound and mixed-breed dogs: comparative cardiopulmonary effects, anesthetic effects, and recovery rates.


The cardiovascular effects, anesthetic effects, and recovery rates were evaluated in racing Greyhounds under barbiturate anesthesia. Greyhounds and mixed-breed dogs of similar body weights were given (by IV route) thiopental (15 mg/kg), thiamylal (15 mg/kg), methohexital (10 mg/kg), and pentobarbital (20 mg/kg). The anesthesia lasted longer in Greyhound than in non-Greyhound mixed-breed dogs given thiopental, thiamylal, and methohexital. The mean times from recumbency to standing were 3 to 4 times longer for Greyhounds anesthetized with thiobarbiturates than for non-Greyhound mixed-breed dogs anesthetized with the same drugs, with recovery times for some Greyhounds lasting more than 8 hours. With thiobarbiturate anesthesia, Greyhounds had long periods of respiratory depression, struggled, and relapsed into sleep, whereas in the other dogs, the recovery was quiet. Respiratory depression related to the stage of anesthesia was produced by all barbiturates, but did not result in significant changes in blood gas values. Rectal temperature decreased in all dogs, but did not result in significant hypothermia. Cardiovascular variables and acid-base estimations in Greyhounds were not significantly different from those in mixed-breed dogs before and during barbiturate anesthesia. Packed cell volumes in Greyhounds were significantly higher than those in non-Greyhound mixed-breed dogs after the thiobarbiturates and methohexital were administered. Total plasma protein concentrations were significantly lower in Greyhounds, compared with those in the other dogs before and during barbiturate anesthesia. Methohexital is a useful alternative to thiobarbiturates for short-duration barbiturate anesthesia in Greyhounds.

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