A method of anaesthesia with halothane and oxygen particularly suitable for 1–30-day-old animals is described. The anaesthetic mixture was given in a semi-closed non-rebreathing system either by facepiece to newborn guineapigs, kittens or rats, or, after intubation, to the chicken, electrocortical activity being monitored throughout the experiments. Induction was rapid and stage 3 anaesthesia could be maintained for up to 6 hours without gross disturbance of electrocortical activity. Almost immediate recovery of consciousness and return to normal electrocortical activity followed withdrawal of the anaesthetic, but in the chicken it was essential to continue oxygen administration until recovery was complete as otherwise respiratory arrest occurred. Blood halothane concentrations were related to depth of anaesthesia and to electrocortical activity.
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