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Comparison of the sedative effects of medetomidine and xylazine in horses
  1. CE Bryant,
  2. GC England and
  3. KW Clarke
  1. Department of Large Animal Surgery and Medicine, Royal Veterinary College, North Mymms, Hatfield.


The sedative effects in horses of the new alpha 2 agonist medetomidine were compared with those of xylazine. Four ponies and one horse were treated on separate occasions with two doses of medetomidine (5 micrograms/kg bodyweight and 10 micrograms/kg bodyweight) and with one dose of xylazine (1 mg/kg bodyweight) given by intravenous injection. Medetomidine at 10 micrograms/kg was similar to 1 mg/kg xylazine in its sedative effect but produced more severe and more prolonged ataxia, and one animal fell over during the study. Medetomidine at 5 micrograms/kg produced less sedation but a similar degree of ataxia to 1 mg/kg xylazine.

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