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Sublingual administration of detomidine to calves prior to disbudding: a comparison with the intravenous route

Hokkanen, Ann-Helena, Raekallio, Marja R, Salla, Kati, Hänninen, Laura, Viitasaari, Elina, Norring, Marianna, Raussi, Satu, Rinne, Valtteri M, Scheinin, Mika, Vainio, Outi M
Veterinary anaesthesia and analgesia 2014 v.41 no.4 pp. 372-377
bioavailability, blood, body temperature, calving, dairy calves, detomidine, experimental design, gels, heart rate, heat, intravenous injection, lidocaine, meloxicam, models, pharmacokinetics, sedation, statistical analysis
To study the effects of oromucosal detomidine gel administered sublingually to calves prior to disbudding, and to compare its efficacy with intravenously (IV) administered detomidine.Randomised, prospective clinical study.Twenty dairy calves aged 12.4 ± 4.4days (mean ± SD), weight 50.5 ± 9.0 kg.Detomidine at 80 μg kg−1 was administered to ten calves sublingually (GEL) and at 30 μg kg−1 to ten control calves IV (V. jugularis). Meloxicam (0.5 mg kg−1) and local anaesthetic (lidocaine 3 mg kg−1) were administered before heat cauterization of horn buds. Heart rate (HR), body temperature and clinical sedation were monitored over 240 minutes. Blood was collected from the V. cephalica during the same period for drug concentration analysis. Pharmacokinetic variables were calculated from the plasma detomidine concentration-time data using non-compartmental methods. Statistical analyses compared routes of administration by Student’s t-test and linear mixed models as relevant.The maximum plasma detomidine concentration after GEL was 2.1 ± 1.2 ng mL−1 (mean ±SD) and the time of maximum concentration was 66.0 ± 36.9 minutes. The bioavailability of detomidine was approximately 34% with GEL. Similar sedation scores were reached in both groups after administration of detomidine, but maximal sedation was reached earlier in the IV group (10 minutes) than in the GEL group (40 minutes). HR was lower after IV than GEL from 5 to 10 minutes after administration. All animals were adequately sedated, and we were able to administer local anaesthetic without resistance to all of the calves before disbudding.Oromucosally administered detomidine is an effective sedative agent for calves prior to disbudding.