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Sedative and cardiopulmonary effects of buprenorphine and xylazine in horses

Cruz, Fernando S.F., Carregaro, Adriano B., Machado, Melissa, Antonow, Romulo R.
Canadian journal of veterinary research 2011 v.75 no.1 pp. 35-41
adults, ataxia (disorder), blood gases, body weight, buprenorphine, gastrointestinal motility, gastrointestinal system, heart rate, horses, intravenous injection, sedation, sedatives, sodium chloride, xylazine
This study investigated the sedative, cardiopulmonary, and gastrointestinal effects produced by buprenorphine and xylazine given in combination to horses. Six healthy adult horses underwent 4 randomized treatments, with an interval of 1 wk between treatments. A control group was given a saline solution intravenously (IV) and the experimental groups received buprenorphine [10 μg/kg bodyweight (BW)] in combination with 1 of 3 different doses of xylazine: 0.25 mg/kg BW (BX25), 0.50 mg/kg BW (BX50), or 0.75 mg/kg BW (BX75), all of them by IV. Cardiopulmonary parameters were evaluated for 120 min after the drugs were administered and intestinal motility was observed for 12 h after treatment. Sedation was found to be dose-dependent in all groups receiving buprenorphine and xylazine and it was observed that the heart rate decreased in the first 5 min and increased at the end of the sedation period. Arterial blood gas tension analyses showed minimal alterations during the experiment. Gastrointestinal hypomotility was observed for up to 8 h. The combination of buprenorphine and 0.50 mg/kg BW of xylazine (BX50) provided a 30-minute period of sedation without intense ataxia and maintained cardiopulmonary parameters within acceptable limits for the species.