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Despite the use of balanced anesthesia and fluids, drugs for cardiovascular support are often needed in anesthetized horses. Antimuscarinics can be used to treat bradycardia unrelated to hypertension. Vasopressors can be useful when hypotension is caused by vasodilation and/or when the effect of fluids and inotropes is insufficient. In most cases, however, inotropes, including sympathomimetics, calcium salts, and phosphodiesterase inhibitors, are preferred. Of the β-sympathomimetics, dobutamine remains the agent of choice. Calcium salts are mainly useful in hypocalcemic patients. Phosphodiesterase inhibitors may offer an alternative solution, but more research is needed. Copyright © 2013 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.


Stijn Schauvliege, Frank Gasthuys. Drugs for cardiovascular support in anesthetized horses. The Veterinary clinics of North America. Equine practice. 2013 Apr;29(1):19-49

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PMID: 23498044

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