Subhypnotic dose of intravenous propofol stimulates appetite in cats with stress-induced anorexia

17 Oct 2020

Fredley, V., Kreisler, R., Miller, K.

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Background

Stress-induced anorexia is common in cats. While medications are available to stimulate appetite, many require oral administration, have delayed onset-of-action or cause adverse side effects. The aim of this study was to determine whether cats diagnosed with stress-induced anorexia given a subhypnotic dose of intravenous propofol would have increased short-term appetite as compared to those given placebo.

Methods

Anorexic shelter cats received either 1 mg/kg propofol or 1 mL saline placebo and then presented with various commercial cat foods. Grams of food consumed was measured at 15 and 30 min, and total grams compared between treatment and control groups using the Wilcoxon rank-sum test. 12 cats were enrolled, with six cats randomly assigned to each group.

Results

The median amount consumed by the treatment group was 31 g (range: 0–72), with the median for the four cats (67 per cent) who consumed food being 45 g (range: 26–72), or 49 per cent of their daily maintenance calorie requirement. The median amount consumed by control cats was 0 g (range: 0–5), with one cat consuming food. Total grams consumed was different between treatment and control groups (P=0.05).

Conclusion

A subhypnotic dose of intravenous propofol increased appetite in cats with stress-induced anorexia for a 30 min period.