In this study, comparative antinociceptive and sedative effects of epidural administration of romifidine and detomidine in buffalo were evaluated. Eighteen healthy adult buffalo, allocated randomly in three groups (two experimental and one control; n=6) received either 50 μg/kg of romifidine or detomidine diluted in sterile saline (0.9 per cent) to a final volume of 20 ml, or an equivalent volume of sterile saline epidurally. Antinociception, sedation and ataxia parameters were recorded immediately after drug administration. Epidural romifidine and detomidine produced mild to deep sedation and complete antinociception of the perineum, inguinal area and flank, and extended distally to the coronary band of the hindlimbs and cranially to the chest area. Times to onset of antinociception and sedation were significantly shorter with romifidine than with detomidine. The antinociceptive and sedative effects were significantly longer with romifidine than with detomidine. Romifidine or detomidine could be used to provide a reliable, long-lasting and cost-effective method for achieving epidural anaesthesia for standing surgical procedures in buffalo. Romifidine induces a longer antinociceptive effect and a more rapid onset than detomidine. Consequently, epidural romifidine may offer better therapeutic benefits in the management of acute postoperative pain.
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