Diazepam Levels in Foals

The combination of ketamine and diazepam (Valium) commonly comprise anesthesia agents in horses. However, she added, many surgeons steer away from the combination when anesthetizing mares that are suffering from dystocia (difficult birth).
Share
Favorite
Close

No account yet? Register

ADVERTISEMENT

The combination of ketamine and diazepam (Valium) commonly comprise anesthesia agents in horses, said Lori Bidwell, DVM, of Rood & Riddle Equine Hospital in Lexington, Ky., at the 2008 American Association of Equine Practitioners convention, held Dec. 6-10 in San Diego, Calif. However, she added, many surgeons steer away from the combination when anesthetizing mares that are suffering from dystocia (difficult birth).

The reason for not using that combination, she said, stems from human reports that diazepam builds in the placenta after the mother receives the drug prior to delivery, resulting in respiratory depression in the baby at birth. However, she said, there have been no published reports that diazepam levels were present in foals after their dams received the combination of ketamine and diazepam.

The purpose of the study conducted at Rood & Riddle, she said, was to determine whether diazepam levels were, indeed, present in foals at birth if the agent had been used to anesthethetize on the dam.

Investigators on the study randomly selected 15 mare/foal combinations from the 57 total cases that arrived at the hospital in 2007 for dystocia treatment. All of them were handled in the same manner. On presentation for dystocia in the hospital, the 15 mares were first given xylazine for sedation. Next they gave the combination of ketamine and diazepam to induce anesthesia, followed by maintaining it with inhalant anesthesia while the surgeon manipulated the foal's position in the uterus to allow delivery. If the foal was not successfully delivered within 20 minutes of presentation to the hospital, the mare was moved into surgery to deliver the foal by Caesarean section

Create a free account with TheHorse.com to view this content.

TheHorse.com is home to thousands of free articles about horse health care. In order to access some of our exclusive free content, you must be signed into TheHorse.com.

Start your free account today!

Already have an account?
and continue reading.

Share

Written by:

Les Sellnow was a prolific freelance writer based near Riverton, Wyoming. He specialized in articles on equine research, and operated a ranch where he raised horses and livestock. He authored several fiction and nonfiction books, including Understanding Equine Lameness and Understanding The Young Horse. He died in 2023.

Related Articles

Stay on top of the most recent Horse Health news with

FREE weekly newsletters from TheHorse.com

Sponsored Content

Weekly Poll

sponsored by:

Has your veterinarian used SAA testing for your horse(s)?
101 votes · 101 answers

Readers’ Most Popular

Sign In

Don’t have an account? Register for a FREE account here.

Need to update your account?

You need to be logged in to fill out this form

Create a free account with TheHorse.com!