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This information is provided by Provet for educational purposes only.

You should seek the advice of your veterinarian if your pet is ill as only he or she can correctly advise on the diagnosis and recommend the treatment that is most appropriate for your pet.

For many drugs consideration should be given to reducing the dose rate when administering them to geriatrics. Unfortunately, few studies have been performed to determine the optimum dose for most drugs in older animals.

In a study* using propofol as an induction agent in a small number (n=6) of unpremedicated dogs aged 8.5-10.5 years, post-induction apnoea was noted, even though the drug was administered at a dose rate of 5mg/kg body weight ...which was less than the normal recommended dose rate of 6.5mg/kg body weight. The authors suggest that lower doses of propofol may be required for the induction of general anaesthesia in older dogs.

The mean half-life of propofol in this study was - 83.9 minutes (+/- 14.8 min)

* (Reid J and Nolan A.M.. Research in Veterinary Science (1996) Vol 61: 169-171)

The occurrence of post-administration apnoea may be reduced in some patients by giving the dose slowly over 30 seconds rather than rapidly as a single bolus.

In addition, propofol should be administered with caution in patients with :

  • Cardiac impairment
  • Hepatic impairment
  • Renal impairment
  • Respiratory impairment

These problems are most likely to be present in patients with advancing age, and should therefore be included in a pre-anaesthetic screening protocol prior to the administration of propofol as an induction agent.


Updated October 2013