From Dog

Halothane is a volatine anesthetic agents still in use in canine medicine as an induction and maintenance general anesthetic agent[1].

Comparison trials have shown that this agent is comparable to other inhalation agents in terms of changes to renal values and hemodynamic complications[2].

Risks with this agent include:

  • Complications associated with malignant hyperthermia
  • Cumulative fetal and liver toxicity to both canine patients and human operators
  • Intra-operative apnea
  • Peri-operative ventricular tachycardia[3]
  • Post-operative hypothermia[4]
  • Poor analgesic effect necessitating perioperative analgesia
  • Complications associated with elevated intracranial hypertension - caution with hypertensive patients

Anesthetic dose for maintenance is usually 1 - 2% end-tidal concentration[5], which can be mitigated with the use of nitrous oxide[6].

Although still in widespread use, this drug has lost favor in canine medicine compared to newer agents such as isoflurane and sevoflurane[7].


  1. Pottie RG et al (2008) Speed of induction of anaesthesia in dogs administered halothane, isoflurane, sevoflurane or propofol in a clinical setting. Aust Vet J 86(1-2):26-31
  2. Silva AE et al (2009) Does the choice of the halogenated anesthetic influence renal function during hemorrhagic shock and resuscitation? Ren Fail 31(1):62-69
  3. Duerr FM et al (2007) Prevalence of perioperative arrhythmias in 50 young, healthy dogs. Can Vet J 48(2):169-177
  4. Pottie RG et al (2007) Effect of hypothermia on recovery from general anaesthesia in the dog. Aust Vet J 85(4):158-162
  5. Fusellier M et al (2007) Influence of three anesthetic protocols on glomerular filtration rate in dogs. Am J Vet Res 68(8):807-811
  6. Duke T et al (2006) The effect of nitrous oxide on halothane, isoflurane and sevoflurane requirements in ventilated dogs undergoing ovariohysterectomy. Vet Anaesth Analg 33(6):343-350
  7. Teixeira Neto FJ et al (2007) A study of the effect of hemorrhage on the cardiorespiratory actions of halothane, isoflurane and sevoflurane in the dog. Vet Anaesth Analg 34(2):107-116