Evaluation of three intravenous injectable anesthesia protocols in healthy adult alpacas

Evaluation of three intravenous injectable anesthesia protocols in healthy adult alpacas

Principal Investigators:

Sandra D. Taylor, DVM, PhD, DACVIM; Aubrey N. Baird, DVM, MS, DACVS; Ann B. Weil, MS, DVM, DACVAA; Audrey Ruple, MS, DVM, PhD, DACVPM

Objective: To evaluate 3 intravenous injectable anesthesia protocols in healthy adult alpacas exposed to toe-pinch stimulation.

Animals: 6 healthy adult alpacas.

Procedure: Cardiopulmonary variables including heart rate, respiratory rate, mean arterial blood pressure, end-tidal partial pressure of carbon dioxide and hemoglobin oxygen saturation were collected immediately after and every 2 minutes following induction of each of 3 anesthesia protocols in 6 male castrated alpacas. A hoof tester was used to apply consistent pressure every 2 minutes after induction and the response was recorded. Time from induction to muscle contraction and leg withdrawal were recorded, as well as time from induction to extubation, sternal recumbency and standing. Induction and recovery scores were given.

Results: There was no significant difference in duration of anesthesia or cardiopulmonary parameters among the 3 anesthesia protocols. Total duration of anesthesia was approximately 20 minutes for each protocol. Hypoxemia and mild hypercarbia were common among all protocols. Induction and recovery scores were excellent.

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance: The protocols described in this study appear safe in healthy alpacas, but are unlikely to provide sufficient anesthesia time for the majority of minor procedures performed in ambulatory practice. However, these protocols could be useful for induction of anesthesia to facilitate intubation and administration of inhalant anesthesia. Animals anesthetized with injectable anesthetics should receive supplemental oxygen if possible.

The results of this study have been submitted for publication to The Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association.

ARF would like to thank Leslie from Herzog Alpacas for donating full funding for this study.

Herzog Alpacas

Leslie Herzog

Herzog Alpacas, LLC