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At the Small Animal Clinic of the Free University of Berlin, 44 common buzzards were administered propofol as part of a clinical examination and/or physiotherapy. The aim of this dissertation was to investigate the suitability of propofol for short-term sedation for diagnostic purposes and physiotherapy treatment in common buzzards. In all common buzzards studied light sedation was achieved after an initial bolus of 8 mg/kg propofol IV per kg body weight had been administered over about five minutes.
This sedation was sufficient for short diagnostic and physiotherapeutic procedures.
Administration of a propofol bolus of 2 mg/kg IV per kg body weight at five minute intervals maintained the sedation over 30 minutes. A safe and sufficient deep sedation for carrying out diagnostics could be achieved with a dose of 0.5 mg/kg/min IV per kg body weight. The common buzzards showed surgical tolerance over the complete sedation period. The interphalangeal and swallowing reflexes declined constantly with continued sedation. Propofol sedation via continuous IV infusion was therefore the better sedative route compared to repeat IV bolus administration. However, low-grade excitations such as wing tremors, opisthotonus and nystagmus were observed in 50% of the animals.
Over the course of the sedation the body temperature decreased about 1°C in all animals despite the use of a heating pad. Respiratory rate was often increased in response to excitation before and at the start of sedation and declined over the course of the sedation. During continuous IV infusion of propofol the median respiratory rate was 32 breaths per minute in the 5th minute and decreased to 29 breaths per minute at the 40th minute. Over the course of the bolus sedation the respiratory rate decreased from 36 breaths per minute in the 5th minute to 26 breaths per minute in the 40th minute.
Over the course of continuous IV infusion the heart rate declined from 290 beats per minute (5th minute) to 245 beats per minute (40th minute). In comparison, the heart rate over the course of the bolus sedation decreased from 300 bpm (5th minute) to 270 bpm.
The ECG showed no association between administration of propofol and the heart rate.
The recovery phase had the same length in all animals of both groups.
There were some instances of low-grade excitations. During the recovery phase the animals were easily excitable. It is therefore recommended that the animals are left in a darkened and quiet room and are subject to as little stress as possible during this phase.
Independent of the mode of administration as repeat bolus or continuous IV infusion, propofol guarantees safe diagnostics and physiotherapy of common buzzards.
It is characterised by very good tolerability and muscle relaxation as well as hypnosis. Particularly for physiotherapy of animals with orthopaedic problems, sedation with propofol can be recommended as part of the rehabilitation of the bird.