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Is ketamine special?

Published: 10/16/2019

In this article from the latest issue of the Journal of Small Animal Practice, our official scientific journal, Professor Nick Jeffery, Editor-In-Chief, highlights an article which looks at the evidence for ketamine and diazepam as an option for anaesthetic induction.

Propofol is an almost ubiquitous induction agent in small animal anesthesia but it does carry a couple of niggles: hypoventilation on induction and lack of analgesic effects.
In a carefully designed clinical study, Dr Reed and colleagues report in this month’s JSAP how recovery is superior in dogs induced with the less commonly-used combination of ketamine and diazepam compared with those induced with propofol, which they attribute to the analgesic effects of ketamine. While the observed benefits might not justify use of this (slightly) more complicated induction protocol on all cases, perhaps it might be worth re-considering for dogs predicted to be more agitated or painful on recovery?