Use of ketamine and xylazine anesthesia in dogs: A retrospective cohort study of 3,413 cases

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  • ISMAR LUTVIKADIC University of Sarajevo, Veterinary Faculty, Zmaja od Bosne 90, 71000 Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzegovina
  • ALAN MAKSIMOVIC University of Sarajevo, Veterinary Faculty, Zmaja od Bosne 90, 71000 Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzegovina


Anesthesia, Dogs, Mortality rate, Ketamine, Xylazine


The information regarding the risk of anesthesia-related death in veterinary medicine is scarce, and little is known about the mortality risk of specific anesthetics. The study conducted during 2019 at University of Sarajevo, Veterinary faculty, aimed to estimate the mortality risk of intermittent injectable ketamine-xylazine anesthesia in dogs and to investigate the potential relationship between mortality rate and anesthesiologists’ experience. Anesthetic records, where ketamine and xylazine combination was used for anesthesia induction and maintenance, were reviewed and divided into two groups: inexperienced (AN1) and experienced anesthesiologists (AN2). Inexperienced anesthesiologists were constantly supervised by experienced ones, whose corrective interventions were recorded. Overall detected mortality rate was 0.15%, with 0.18% and 0.11% in the AN1 and AN2 groups, respectively. A statistically significant difference was not found. Records of the AN1 group revealed interventions of experienced anesthesiologist in 92% of cases. Detected mortality rate was within the values previously established for inhalant anesthesia indicating high safety in usage of investigated protocol, if performed by experienced anesthesiologists. The high percentage of interventions of a senior anesthesiologist suggests that supervised upskilling of inexperienced anesthesiologists before their independent work could result in a better outcome.


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How to Cite

LUTVIKADIC, I., & MAKSIMOVIC, A. (2022). Use of ketamine and xylazine anesthesia in dogs: A retrospective cohort study of 3,413 cases. The Indian Journal of Animal Sciences, 92(11), 1280–1284.