Veterinary Anesthesia & Analgesia Support Group
Practical Information for the Compassionate Veterinary Practitioner
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  Sighthound Management Basics
  Bob Stein
  December, 2004


a)      General Approach

i)        Avoid agents that depend on redistribution to body fat for recovery

ii)      Effectively control patient anxiety

b)      Pre-anesthetic Medications

i)        Opioids combined with a benzodiazepine form an effective preanesthetic base

(1)   Add acepromazine or (dex)medetomidine to improve anxiolysis and relaxation

c)      Induction

i)        Propofol and alfaxalone are very effective induction agents generally associated with smooth recoveries

ii)       Ketamine/Valium is a reasonable option

iii)     Opioid/benzodiazepine induction is another option

(1)   Recovery may be prolonged – reversal agents can be employed if needed to facilitate recovery

iv)     Methohexital is the only recommended thiobarbiturate for sighthound induction

(1)   It does not require redistribution for recovery

(2)   Recovery is through agent metabolism which sighthounds handle adequately

(3)   Thiopental can be used in sighthounds but its use is not recommended as the therapeutic index is uncomfortably narrow

d)      Maintenance

i)        Isoflurane or sevoflurane

e)      Support

i)        Carefully monitor patient temperature

ii)      Be prepared to administer additional sedative/tranquilizer at extubation to avoid rough recoveries



a)      Pre-anesthetic Medications

i)        Avoid preanesthetic combinations that lack effective sedation

b)      Induction

i)        Avoid thiobarbiturates other than methohexital

c)      Maintenance

i)        N/A

d)      Support

i)        Monitor body temperature – sighthounds are prone to hyperthermia if the perianesthetic experience is stressful

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