Effects of short-term stress, xylazine tranquilization and anesthetization with xylazine plus ketamine on plasma concentrations of cortisol, luteinizing hormone, follicle stimulating hormone and prolactin in ovariectomized pony mares

Document Type


Publication Date



Long-term ovariectomized pony mares were subjected to one of four treatments: 1) control group - no treatment, 2) stressed group - 5 min of restraint via a twitch, 3) tranquilized group - administered xylazine (1.1 mg i.v. per kg of body weight), and 4) anesthetized group - administered xylazine followed 2 min later by ketamine (2.2 mg i.v. per kg of body weight). Blood samples were taken at -40, -30, -20, -10, -0.5, 10, 20, 30, 40, 50, 60 and 90 min and at 2, 3, 4, 6, 8 and 24 h relative to onset of treatment. Stress increased (P<0.05) cortisol concentrations 20 to 50 min after treatment and again at 6 and 8 h. Tranquilization had no effect on cortisol concentrations, whereas anesthetization increased (P<0.05) cortisol concentrations from 90 min through 8 h after treatment. Concentrations of luteinizing hormone (LH) and follicle stimulating hormone (FSH) did not vary (P>0.1) relative to pretreatment in any group of mares. Concentrations of prolactin were 2.7-fold higher (P<0.05) 24 h after treatment in all four groups, indicating some procedural or environmental influence on prolactin secretion. There was a transient increase (P<0.06) in prolactin concentrations in anesthetized mares 30 min after treatment. Although two of these three commonly used methods of restraint did affect cortisol concentrations, there was no effect on plasma concentrations of LH or FSH. Thus, we conclude that such methods of restraint can be used in short-term situations without disturbing estimates of LH and FSH secretion. However, when prolactin concentrations are to be measured, anesthesia with ketamine should not be used. © 1988.

Publication Source (Journal or Book title)


First Page


Last Page


This document is currently not available here.