Propofol is a novel immersion anesthetic in goldfish (Carassius auratus). Objectives were to characterize propofol as an anesthetic and assess its suitability in a minimum anesthetic concentration (MAC) reduction model. Using a crossover design, eight goldfish were submerged in 1, 5, or 10 mg/L propofol. Data included induction time, recovery time, heart rate, opercular rate, and response to supramaximal stimulation. Baseline MAC (Dixon's up-and-down method) was determined, and 15 fish were anesthetized with propofol on 4 consecutive days with MAC determination on the fifth day, weekly, for 1 mo. Using a crossover design, MAC of propofol (n = 15) was determined 1 hr following administration of i.m. butorphanol 0.05, 0.5, and 1 mg/kg, dexmedetomidine 0.01, 0.02, and 0.04 mg/kg, ketoprofen 0.5, 1, and 2 mg/kg, morphine 5, 10, and 15 mg/kg, or saline 1 ml/kg. Comparisons were performed with Wilcoxon signed-rank tests (P < 0.05) and Tango's score confidence interval. Propofol at 1 mg/L did not produce anesthesia. Induction time with 10 mg/L (112, 84–166 s) was faster than 5 mg/L (233, 150–289 s; P = 0.0078). Heart and opercular rates for 5 and 10 mg/L were 36 (24–72) beats/min, 58 (44–68) operculations/min and 39 (20–48) beats/min, 57 (48–80) operculations/min, respectively. Recovery time was 249 (143–396) s and 299 (117–886) s with 5 and 10 mg/L, respectively. Response to supramaximal stimulation was not significantly different with 5 mg/L (1/8) compared with 10 mg/L (0/8). Baseline and weekly MAC following daily exposure was 8.4 and 9.0, 8.1, 8.1, and 8.7 mg/L, respectively. MAC reduction was no more than 8% following any drug or dosage. Propofol at 5 and 10 mg/L produced anesthesia, and anesthetic needs were similar following repeated exposure. Propofol was not suitable to test MAC reduction in goldfish in this study.
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