Objective: To determine the effects of meloxicam and butorphanol on minimum alveolar concentration of isoflurane (MAC(ISO)) in rabbits.
Animals: 10 healthy young adult female rabbits.
Procedure: Rabbits were anesthetized with isoflurane on 3 occasions in a blinded, randomized complete block design to determine the MAC(ISO) associated with administration of meloxicam (0, 0.3, or 1.5 mg/kg, PO) and butorphanol (0.4 mg/kg, IV). The MAC(ISO) was determined by use of a paw clamp technique as the end-tidal concentration of isoflurane halfway between the values that allowed or inhibited purposeful movement. Rectal temperature, end-tidal CO2 concentration, heart rate, oxygen saturation, and arterial blood pressure were measured to evaluate cardiopulmonary function.
Results: Mean +/- SE MAC(ISO) in saline (0.9% NaCl) solution-treated rabbits was 2.49 +/- 0.07% and was not significantly different from that associated with administration of meloxicam at 0.3 mg/kg (2.56 +/- 0.07%) or 1.5 mg/kg (2.66 +/- 0.07%). Butorphanol significantly reduced the MAC(ISO) to 2.30 +/- 0.07% when administered with saline solution alone, 2.27 +/- 0.07% when administered with 0.3 mg of meloxicam/kg, and 2.33 +/- 0.07% when administered with 1.5 mg of meloxicam/kg. The percentage reduction in MAC(ISO) was significantly greater for rabbits that received butorphanol and meloxicam at either dose, compared with butorphanol and saline solution.
Conclusions and clinical relevance: Results indicated that meloxicam does not have a direct isoflurane-sparing effect and does not interfere with the anesthetic-sparing effect of butorphanol in rabbits.