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Sedation and mechanical antinociception after intravenous administration of detomidine in donkeys: a dosage–effect study
  1. Ignacio Lizarraga, MVZ, MVSc, PhD,
  2. Fernanda Castillo-Alcala, MVZ, DVSc, Dipl ACVP,
  3. Kelley M. Varner, BS and
  4. Lauren S. Robinson, BS
  1. Department of Biomedical Sciences, Ross University School of Veterinary Medicine, PO Box 334, Basseterre, Saint Kitts and Nevis
  1. E-mail for correspondence: madrigal{at}


There is limited, useful, scientific information on detomidine in donkeys. This study compared the effects of intravenous saline, detomidine (10, 13.5, 17 and 20 μg/kg) and acepromazine (50 μg/kg) in donkeys by computing areas under the curve for 0–30, 30–60 and 60–120 minutes (AUC0–30, AUC30–60 and AUC60–120) for sedation scores, head heights and mechanical nociceptive thresholds (MNTs). For sedation scores, all detomidine treatments, except 10 μg/kg, increased AUC0–30 values compared with saline, and AUC0–30 values were larger for 17 μg/kg detomidine than for acepromazine. All head height AUC values were lower for detomidine than for saline (except AUC60–120 for 10 μg/kg detomidine) and acepromazine (except AUC0–30 for 10 and 20 μg/kg detomidine, and AUC60–120 for 10 μg/kg detomidine). For MNTs, all detomidine treatments increased AUC0–30 and AUC30–60 values compared with saline and acepromazine; AUC30–60 values were smaller for 10 μg/kg than for 17 and 20 μg/kg detomidine. MNT AUC60–120 values were larger for 20 μg/kg detomidine than for saline, 10 μg/kg detomidine and acepromazine. Detomidine induced sedation and antinociception, but only antinociception was dosage dependent. Selection of detomidine dosage for donkeys may depend on the required duration of sedation and/or degree of analgesia.

  • Analgesia
  • Nociception
  • Pain
  • Pharmacology
  • Central nervous system (CNS)
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