The use of propofol and sevoflurane for surgical anaesthesia in New Zealand White rabbits

Sandra Allweiler, Matt C. Leach, Paul A. Flecknell

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17 Scopus citations


New Zealand White (NZW) rabbits (n = 34) received intravenous propofol (16 ± 5 mg/kg) for induction of anaesthesia followed by maintenance with sevoflurane (4.0 ± 0.5%) in oxygen. All animals underwent ovariohysterectomy. Heart rate, respiratory rate, haemoglobin oxygen saturation, end-tidal carbon dioxide concentration, end-tidal sevoflurane concentration and oesophageal temperature were monitored every 5 min. Time from induction of anaesthesia to tracheal extubation and sternal recumbency were recorded as was the quality of recovery. Direct arterial blood pressure values (mmHg) were recorded every 5 min from 19 rabbits and 22 arterial blood gases analyses were performed (11 postintubation and 11 at the time of recovery). Propofol produced smooth induction of anaesthesia without production of apnoea. Intubation was successfully performed in all but one rabbit in an average of 4 ± 3 min from the beginning of propofol administration. No ventilatory support was required during the anaesthetic period. Respiratory rate averaged 51 ± 8 bpm and end-tidal CO2 (kPa) was 4.0 ± 0.5 mmHg during anaesthesia. Blood gas values were maintained within normal limits and average mean arterial blood pressure was 73.4 ± 7.9 mmHg. Time to regain the swallowing reflex following discontinuation of sevoflurane was 2 ± 1 min and time to sternal recumbency was 8 ± 0.3 min. No anaesthetic-related mortality occurred and all animals recovered uneventfully. Propofol-sevoflurane anaesthesia produced a good quality of surgical anaesthesia for ovariohysterectomy and stable cardiopulmonary conditions. Propofol-sevoflurane anaesthesia in young healthy NZW rabbits appears to be an effective and practically useful method of anaesthesia.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)113-117
Number of pages5
JournalLaboratory Animals
Issue number2
StatePublished - Apr 2010

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
The authors thank Ms Caroline Fox, Denise Reid and Sandra Hogg for assistance with animal care and the anaesthetic and surgical procedures, and Dr Khursheed Mama, Colorado State University, for assistance with preparation of the manuscript. Dr S Allweiler was supported by a grant from Laboratory Animals Ltd.

Copyright 2010 Elsevier B.V., All rights reserved.


  • Anaesthesia
  • Propofol
  • Rabbits
  • Refinement
  • Sevoflurane


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