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Journal of the South African Veterinary Association

On-line version ISSN 2224-9435
Print version ISSN 1019-9128


DZIKITI, T Brighton.; ZEILER, Gareth E.; DZIKITI, Loveness N.  and  GARCIA, Eva R.. The effects of midazolam and butorphanol, administered alone or combined, on the dose and quality of anaesthetic induction with alfaxalone in goats. J. S. Afr. Vet. Assoc. [online]. 2014, vol.85, n.1, pp.01-08. ISSN 2224-9435.

Goats are rarely anaesthetised; consequently, scant information is available on the efficacy of anaesthetic drugs in this species. Alfaxalone is a relatively new anaesthetic agent, of which the efficacy in goats has not yet been studied. In this study, the sedative and alfaxalone-sparing effects of midazolam and butorphanol, administered alone or concomitantly, in goats were assessed. Eight clinically healthy goats, four does and four wethers, were enlisted in a randomised crossover manner to receive intramuscular sedative treatments consisting of saline 0.05 mL/kg, or midazolam 0.30 mg/kg, or butorphanol 0.10 mg/kg, or a combination of midazolam 0.30 mg/kg with butorphanol 0.10 mg/kg before intravenous induction of general anaesthesia with alfaxalone. Following induction, the goats were immediately intubated and the quality of anaesthesia and basic physiological cardiorespiratory and blood-gas parameters were assessed until the goats had recovered from anaesthesia. The degree of sedation, quality of induction and recovery were scored. When compared with saline (3.00 mg/kg), midazolam, administered alone or with butorphanol, caused a statistically significant increased level of sedation and a reduction in the amount of alfaxalone required for induction (2.00 mg/kg and 1.70 mg/kg, respectively). Butorphanol alone (2.30 mg/kg) did not cause significant changes in level of sedation or alfaxalone-induction dose. During induction and recovery, the goats were calm following all treatments, including the control group. Cardiorespiratory and blood-gas parameters were maintained within clinically acceptable limits. The present study showed that midazolam, administered alone or combined with butorphanol, produces a degree of sedation that significantly reduces the dose of alfaxalone required for induction of general anaesthesia in goats, without causing any major adverse cardiorespiratory effects.

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