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Sedation assessment tool developed for dogs

A multifactorial scale uses ten variables to establish the degree of sedation of dogs

Researchers José Ignacio Redondo García, professor at the Faculty of Veterinary Science of the CEU Cardenal Herrera University of Valencia (Spain) and Fernando Martínez Taboada, professor at the Faculty of Veterinary Science of the University of Sydney (Australia), have designed a multifactorial scale so that veterinarians can assess, in an efficient and simple way, the degree of sedation of dogs.

SIESTA (SEAAV Integrated Evaluation Sedation Tool for Anaesthesia) was created with the collaboration of 23 veterinarians from the SEAAV (Spanish Society of Veterinary Analgesia and Anaesthesia). PLoS ONE has published the scale, which is of use to veterinarians who use sedation on dogs for diagnostic tests or minor surgeries that do not require general anaesthesia.

Using the Delphi method, the experts of the SEAAV established five levels of sedation in dogs, which range from no sedation to light sedation, moderate sedation, profound sedation and excitation. The terms used in the descriptions conducted by these experts were grouped by the CEU UCH researchers and the University of Sydney as descriptors for each of the five stages of sedation. In the second phase, anaesthesiologists who collaborated with the study detailed over 200 clinical cases, using the questionnaire designed by the professors who created SIESTA.

The study of the results with advanced Machine Learning statistical techniques such as decision trees and classification and random forests, has led to ten variables being added to the SIESTA scale, which make it possible to differentiate, in a simple way, among the five different stages of sedation for dogs. Variables assessed were: the state of mind of the dog, posture, movements, the level of response to stimuli, behaviour, the response to restraint, muscle tone, physiological parameters, facial expression, eye position, eyelids and pupils, presence or absence of vocalisation and the feasibility of performing the intended procedure.

The statistical procedures applied to the answers of these 200 cases reveal that the most significant variables to determine the degree of sedation of dogs are changes in posture, response to restraint and head elevation. The SIESTA scale allows the veterinarian to assess all the necessary variables to determine the degree of sedation of the dog, both before the procedure and after, to ensure that the effects of the sedation disappear appropriately.

CEU UCH professor José Ignacio Redondo, co-author of the SIESTA tool, also heads the largest study in the world on anaesthetic mortality in dogs and cats: COMPLRED. In this study, for which he has compiled over 44,000 cases from nine different countries, he assesses the anaesthetic mortality rate, which is currently 0.72% in dogs and 0.74% in cats on average worldwide. In Spain, the country that contributes the most cases to the study, the average mortality rate is 0.52% and 0.54% in dogs and cats, respectively.

Article: Martinez-Taboada, F., Redondo, J. I. (2020) The SIESTA (SEAAV Integrated evaluation sedation tool for anaesthesia) project: Initial development of a multifactorial sedation assessment tool for dogs. PLoS ONE 15(4): e0230799, doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0230799

Article details

  • Date
  • 23 September 2020
  • Source
  • Universidad CEU Cardenal Herrera
  • Subject(s)
  • Dogs, Cats, and other Companion Animals