2011, Vol. 6 No. 1, Article 81
Comparison of Anaesthetic Effects of Ketamine -Xylazine and Ketamine- Diazepam Combination in Budgerigar
M. Javdani Gandomani*, A. Ghashghaii,
A. Tamadon, H. R. Attaran, M. A. Behzadi
and Z. Javdani
Department of Clinical Sciences, School of Veterinary Medicine,
Razi University Kermanshah, Iran
e-mail address: email@example.com
Twelve healthy budgerigars, weighing 20-30 grams were randomly assigned to two groups (n = 6). Group A received xylazine ketamine regimen (10 mg/kg and 40 mg/kg, respectively) and Group B received diazepam ketamine regimen (2 mg/kg and 80 mg/kg, respectively). The effects of each combination on heart rate, respiratory rate, cloacal temperature, and the foot web pinch response with the time of induction, maintenance and recovery period of anesthesia were recorded. There were no differences between the induction time and the recovery time in the two groups, but the time of anesthetic maintenance between them differed significantly (P ≤ 0.05). Pain reflexes were elicited at all times in half of the birds in group B and all birds of group A. Mean heart rate and respiratory rate decreased sharply and significantly at 30 and 45 minutes, respectively in each group and remained below the baseline value for 180 minutes (P ≤ 0.05). xylazine ketamine had a significantly lower effect on heart rate and respiratory rate than diazepam ketamine combination. There was a significant decrease in cloacal temperature in the first 15 minutes post xylazine ketamine administration. Intramuscular injection of xylazine ketamine in healthy budgerigars provided a safe and long lasting anesthesia with an excellent induction and better recovery period than the diazepam ketamine administration.
Budgerigar, Intramuscular anesthesia, Xylazine ketamine, Diazepam ketamine.
Injectable anesthetics like barbiturates, chloral hydrate, alpha chloralose, phenothiazines, dissociatives, alpha-2 adrenergic agonists, alphaxalone / alphadolone and propofol are frequently used in birds because of their quick and easy administration. (2, 3). The greatest disadvantages of injectable anesthetics are the individual and species variations relative to drug dose and response, difficulty in administrating a safe volume to small birds, difficulty in maintaining surgical anesthesia without cardiopulmonary depression and the potential for prolonged, violent recoveries. Precise body weight in grams is essential for accurate anesthetic dosing in birds. Ketamine has been recommended by several researchers as a suitable anesthetic agent for birds, but it is rarely used alone because of poor muscle relaxation, muscle tremors, myotonic contractions, opisthotonus and rough recoveries (2, 4-7). Benzodiazepines on the other hand provide muscle relaxation and act as sedatives and can also reduce anxiety during anesthetic induction and recovery. The alpha-2-adrenergic agonists such as xylazine provide muscle relaxation, analgesia and sedation which smoothes induction and recovery (6, 8). Various combinations of anesthetics have been used for injectable avian anesthesia, the study was aimed at comparing the anesthetic effects of two different anesthetic combinations (xylazine ketamine and diazepam ketamine) in budgerigar (Melopsittacus undulatus).
MATERIALS AND METHODS
Twelve healthy budgerigars, weighing 20-30 grams of either sex were randomly allotted to two groups (n= 6). Group A received xylazine (10 mg/kg) and ketamine (40 mg/kg) in combination (xylazine ketamine regimen) and group B received diazepam (2 mg/kg) and ketamine (80 mg/kg) combination (diazepam ketamine regimen) for inducing anesthesia. A 25 gauge, 5/8 inch needle and a disposable 1 ml syringe were used for intramuscular injection.
Foot web pinch response, respiratory rate (RR) and Cloacal temperature (CT) was recorded. Heart rate (HR) was measured with a modified non-invasive Doppler procedure that was placed over the plantar arcuate artery on the ventral side of the foot web. The induction period was taken as the time between the injection of one combination until the absence of a reaction to a noxious stimulus (abdominal feather plucking). Duration of loss of righting reflex and unresponsiveness to painful stimulus was recorded as maintenance period of anesthesia. The recovery period was taken as the time between the absence of a reaction to the painful stimulus until the time birds could stand up. The time of induction, maintenance and the recovery period of the anesthesia were recorded. The baseline (time 0) respiratory and heart rates were measured before drug administration and thereafter every 15 minutes for 180 minutes. Baseline values were measured when the birds were awake and a few minutes after being manually restrained. The cloacal temperature was measured prior to and 15 minutes after induction and every 1 hour during anesthesia.
The data of the respiratory rate, heart rate and cloacal temperature were analyzed with ANOVA for repeated measures. Paired T-test was performed to compare the duration of the anesthesia (introduction, maintenance, and recovery). When the differences were significant (P ≤ 0.05), a paired Student’s t-test was used to compare the results with the baseline values.
Table 1 shows the time of induction, maintenance, and the recovery under the two different anesthetic regimens. There was no difference between the induction time and the recovery time among two groups, but the time of maintenance of anesthesia varied significantly (P ≤ 0.05). During anesthesia, in both groups the eyes remained closed but the palpebral reflex was present. The recovery period in some of the birds from group B (diazepam ketamine) was rough, with leg movements and wing flapping, and some degree of abnormal posture was noticed in two birds. Pain reflexes were elicited at all times in half the birds of group B and all birds of group A.
Fig. 1A depicts the effects of xylazine ketamine and diazepam ketamine on heart rates in different times. Mean heart rate decreased sharply and significantly at 30 minutes in each group and the remained below the baseline value for 180 minutes (P ≤ 0.05). Xylazine ketamine combination caused a significantly (P ≤ 0.05) greater decrease in heart rate than the diazepam ketamine combination
Mean respiratory rate decreased significantly (P≤ 0.05; Fig. 1B) at 45 minutes after induction of anesthesia in both groups. The effect of the xylazine ketamine combination in depressing respiratory rate was higher than that of diazepam ketamine combination except from 135th minute till the end of the recording. A significant decrease (P ≤ 0.05; Fig. 1C) in cloacal temperature in the first 15 minutes was observed after the xylazine ketamine injection.
Ketamine is probably the most commonly used anesthetic agent in birds, but its use as the sole agent for anesthetizing the budgerigar is not advisable because it is associated with muscular tremors and myclonic cramps (2). Mandelker (1975) suggested that a single 2 mg dose of ketamine induces anesthesia in budgerigar. To lessen the undesirable effects of ketamine, a combination of ketamine with other drugs is recommended. Machin & Caulkett 1 used a combination of medetomidine midazolam ketamine in mallard ducks, which caused the death of one of 12 birds and three other ducks required resuscitation. Varner et al. (2004) described the lack of efficacy of injectable ketamine with xylazine or diazepam for anesthesia in chickens. Christensen et al. (1987) showed that a combination of diazepam and ketamine was not satisfactory, producing a light anesthesia with cramps and excitation. A xylazine ketamine combination was effective for induction of anesthesia in chickens (10). Samour et al. (1989) and Mostachio et al. (2008) reported good muscle relaxation in anesthesia after using a combination of ketamine with xylazine in chickens. In feral pigeons (Columba livia) the combination of ketamine and xylazine caused excitation and convulsions (7).
During present the trial, heart rate decreased sharply after drug administration in both the groups. Similar finding was reported with a xylazine ketamine combination in chicken ( Maiti et al. 10) and with medetomidine midazolam ketamine combination in mallard ducks (1). Bradycardia after using a medetomidine ketamine combination has been recorded in pigeons (12). Xylazine and medetomidine use has been associated with decrease in heart rate (13, 14). The arrythmogenic effects of the xylazine can lead to cardiovascular instability and, when coupled with hypoventilation and hypercarbia, can have an irreversible, fatal effects. Also, alpha2-adrenergic agonist drugs are a poor choice as anesthetics, alone or in combination, when the bird is highly stressed.
In the diazepam ketamine group the heart rate decreased significantly (P ≤ 0.05). 30 minutes after administration, the finding differed with reports of Varner et al. (2004). Similarly, ketamine diazepam induced minimal effects on the cardiovascular system. Thus, the depressing effect of the xylazine ketamine combination on heart rate was seen to be more than that of the diazepam ketamine combination.
The respiratory rate decreased significantly in anesthetized birds of both the groups (P ≤ 0.05). Similar observations were recorded after the administration of a xylazine ketamine combination in chickens (7), alpha-2 agonist ketamine in chickens (6, 10) and pigeons (12), medetomidine midazolam ketamine combinations, and alpha-2 agonist in ducks (1). Xylazine has been known to show a high depressant action on the respiratory system, thus respiratory rate in the xylazine ketamine combination group was found to be significantly decreased (P ≤ 0.05).
Uzun et al. (2003) and Maiti et al. (2006) reported a decrease in cloacal temperature after alpha-2 agonist ketamine combination and diazepam ketamine combination administration. During anesthesia, due to depression of the thermoregulatory center, reduction of heat production and basal metabolism, a decrease in body temperature occurs. Xylazine being a deeper sedative than diazepam caused a greater drop in body temperature.
Induction period of less than one minute in both the groups was recorded. Mostachio et al. (2008) recorded an induction period of 13.1 ± 2.9 minutes with intramuscular xylazine diazepam ketamine administration in roosters. The duration of anesthesia was significantly (P ≤ 0.05) longer in the xylazine ketamine group than the diazepam ketamine group. Group B showed no analgesic activity with poor recovery marked by leg movements and wing flapping and abnormal posture. Exhibition of pain reflexes at all times was seen in half of the birds of group B.
In conclusion, intramuscular injection of xylazine ketamine combination in healthy budgerigars provides a safe and long lasting anesthesia with an excellent induction and recovery period when compared to diazepam ketamine combination administration.
The authors thankful to Dr. Tapan Kumar Pattanaik, Associate Professor, Veterinary Surgery and Radiology for his kind help during this research work and providing information regarding the journal Vetscan.
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Table-1: Mean (± SD) of time of three anesthesia stages in two different combinations of anesthetic agent in two groups of budgerigars (n = 6)
Means in columns with the different letters are significantly different (P ≤ 0.05).
Figure-1: Effects of xylazine ketamine (n) and diazepam ketamine (▲) on mean (±SD) of heart rate (A), respiratory rate (B) and cloacal temperature (C) in two groups of budgerigar (n = 6). Significant differences (P ≤ 0.05) in the time of measuring of each parameter between two anesthetic combinations are shown by the stars (*)