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Date:   09 October, 2011  

Focus:
 Small animals - dogs, cats, hamsters, guinea pigs, turtles & rabbits
Xylazine+Ketamine IV anaesthesia in dogs and cats
Dr Sing Kong Yuen, BVMS (Glasgow), MRCVS
First written: 12 April, 2010
09 October, 2011
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There are many methods of anaesthesizing the dogs. One of them is the use of xylazine and ketamine IV. I believe this is seldom used as each vet has his own preferences. For example, I use xylazine tranquilisation IM and halothane and nowadays isoflurane gas anaesthesia over the past 20 years of practice and I find it to be very effective and safe, with rapid recovery.

However, old dogs can learn new tricks and I always ask other vets what anaesthesia they use. There is a great variety.

My associate vet loves to use Domitor pre-anaesthetic dosage, isoflurane and then Anti-sedan reversal. Another vet loves the xylazine/ketamine combination for anaesthesia. Another one loves zoletil injectable anaesthesia. Other vets may premedicate with ACP and use domitor + diazepam.

The following is my observation of xylazine:ketamine IV anaesthesia I used in one 26-kg, 5-year-old Labrador Retriever yesterday to treat a lick granuloma of the LH D5 toe.

THE GENERAL GUIDELINE FROM ONE VET
FOR XYLAZINE:KETAMINE IV ANAESTHESIA IN DOGS

FOR ANAESTHESIA
26kg, 5-year old dog
Xylazine 2% at 2.3 ml
Ketamine 100mg/ml at 0.3 ml
In one syringe, the total is 2.6 ml, IV

FOR SEDATION, the dosage is reduced as follows:
26kg, 5-year old dog
Xylazine 2% at 1.3 ml
Ketamine 100mg/ml at 0.3 ml
In one syringe, the total is 1.6 ml. IV
This was what I gave to the dog
After 1 minute, the dog was sedated.
After 5 minutes, I injected prednisolone into his large LH 5th digit granuloma. Slick flicker of pain reaction. He was sedated well.

Recovery
He took more than half an hour to wake up and more than 1 hour to stand up. I did not given any anti-xylazine reversal as ketamine is involved and may cause excitation effects.

CONCLUSION
I prefer dogs to be standing up within 2 minutes of the end of a procedure or surgery. So, I will not be using this method. It will be good for cases where there are no gas machines. This is why I am recording this case for the benefit of vets who may not have anaesthetic gas facilities.

P.S.
XYLAZINE + KETAMINE IM IN DOGS

From this practitioner who is experienced in this method of anaesthesia, there is a general formula for xylazine:ketamine IV anaesthesia in adult dogs.

For example, 26 kg, 5-year-old dog
Xyalzine 2.3 ml + ketamine 0.3 ml = 2.6 ml in one syringe.
This is a general formula and must be reduced according to health, age and weight.

XYLAZINE + KETAMINE IM IN CATS
I find this method most effective and safe for cat spays and neuters and short surgeries of <30 minutes. My dosage is
For cats below 2 kg, xylazine 0.1 ml + ketamine 0.4 ml IM = 0.5 ml in one syringe.
For cats 6-8 kg, xylazine 0.2 + ketamine 0.8 ml = 1.0 ml in one syringe.
For cats 2-6 kg, xylazine 0.15 ml + ketamine 0.6 ml IM = 0.75 ml in one syringe.

GENERAL GUIDELINE FOR IV ANAESTHESIA
More ketamine in cats, less in dogs. 

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