OBJECTIVE: To evaluate some of the clinical and laboratory parameters following diazepam-acepromazine, thiopental, and halothane anesthesia in Caspian ponies. STUDY DESIGN: Prospective experimental trial. ANIMALS: Six healthy Caspian ponies of both sexes, aged 11 +/- 3 years and weighing 318 +/- 71 kg. METHODS: The ponies were pre-medicated with diazepam (0.2 mg kg(-1)) and acepromazine (0.05 mg kg(-1)) IV. Sodium thiopental 5% was administered IV, 10 minutes later and anesthesia was maintained with halothane in oxygen for 1 hour. Heart and respiratory rates, mean arterial blood pressure, cardiac rhythm, and signs of anesthetic depth were monitored during anesthesia. Hematological and serum biochemical parameters were evaluated before anesthesia and at 1, 2, 3, 24, 48, 72, and 96 hours. Urine specific gravity and cytology were evaluated at the same intervals following anesthesia. Parametric data were analyzed using repeated measures anova. RESULTS: Considerable sedation/tranquilization without excitement was achieved following pre-medication. Heart rate significantly increased and mild hypotension occurred during anesthesia. Sinus arrhythmia and second degree AV block occurred in five horses. Respiratory rate decreased during anesthesia, with an accompanying respiratory acidosis. Body temperature also decreased. Recovery was scored 'good' in four horses and 'satisfactory' in the other two. Blood urea nitrogen concentration was significantly increased at 1-3 hours post-anesthesia. Blood glucose was significantly increased at 48, 72, and 96 hours, and creatine kinase and aspartate aminotransferase were significantly increased at 24 and 48 hours post-anesthesia. CONCLUSION AND CLINICAL RELEVANCE: This simple anesthetic protocol can be used in Caspian ponies and an acceptable anesthetic with a reasonable recovery can be expected.
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