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Background: Premedication is rarely used in avian species. The aim of this study was to evaluate the effect of premedication on the quality of sevoflurane induction and anaesthesia in parrots. We hypothesised that premedication would facilitate handling and decrease the minimum anaesthetic dose (MAD). Thirty-six adult parrots were randomly distributed in three groups: group S (n = 12) was premedicated with NaCl 0.9%; group KS (n = 12) was premedicated with 10 mg.kg-1 ketamine; and group KDS (n = 12) was premedicated with 10 mg.kg-1 ketamine and 0.5 mg.kg-1 diazepam, delivered intramuscularly. After induction using 4.5% sevoflurane introduced through a facemask, the MAD was determined for each animal. The heart rate (HR), respiratory rate (RR), systolic arterial blood pressure (SAP), and cloacal temperature (CT) were recorded before premedication (T0), 15 minutes after premedication (T1), and after MAD determination (T2). Arterial blood gas analyses were performed at T0 and T2. The quality of anaesthesia was evaluated using subjective scales based on animal behaviour and handling during induction, maintenance, and recovery. Statistical analyses were performed using analysis of variance or Kruskal-Wallis tests followed by Tukey's or Dunn's tests.Results: The minimal anaesthetic doses obtained were 2.4 ± 0.37%, 1.7 ± 0.39%, and 1.3 ± 0.32% for groups S, KS, and KDS, respectively. There were no differences in HR, RR, or CT among groups, but SAP was significantly lower in group S. Sedation was observed in both the premedicated S-KS and S-KDS groups. There were no differences in the quality of intubation and recovery from anaesthesia among the three groups, although the induction time was significantly shorter in the pre-medicated groups, and the KS group showed less muscle relaxation.Conclusions: Ketamine alone or the ketamine/diazepam combination decreased the MAD of sevoflurane in parrots (Amazona aestiva). Ketamine alone or in combination with diazepam promoted a good quality of sedation, which improved handling and reduced the stress of the birds. All protocols provided safe anaesthesia in this avian species. © 2013 Paula et al.; licensee BioMed Central Ltd.
Paula, V. V., Otsuki, D. A., Auler, J. O. C., Nunes, T. L., Ambrósio, A. M., & Fantoni, D. T. (2013). The effect of premedication with ketamine, alone or with diazepam, on anaesthesia with sevoflurane in parrots (Amazona aestiva). BMC Veterinary Research, 9. https://doi.org/10.1186/1746-6148-9-142