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Medetomidine sedation in dogs and cats: A review of its pharmacology, antagonism and dose

Cullen, L.K. (1996) Medetomidine sedation in dogs and cats: A review of its pharmacology, antagonism and dose. British Veterinary Journal, 152 (5). pp. 519-535.

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Medetomidine is a relatively new sedative analgesic in dogs and cats but some precautions are required when using it. It is a potent α2-adrenoceptor agonist and stimulates receptors centrally to produce dose-dependent sedation and analgesia and receptors centrally and peripherally to cause marked bradycardia and decrease the cardiac output. While hypotension occurs frequently, higher doses of the sedative can raise the blood pressure due to an affect on peripheral receptors. Slowing of the respiratory rate is a frequent effect of medetomidine with some dogs showing signs of cyanosis. Other actions that follow medetomidine use are slowing of gastrointestinal motility, hypothermia, changes to endocrine function and, occasionally, vomiting and muscle twitching. The clinical use of medetomidine in dogs and cats is discussed. Recommended dose rates are presented along with precautions that should be taken when it is used alone for sedation, as an anaesthetic premedicant or in combination with ketamine, propofol or opioids. Hypoxaemia occurs frequently in dogs given medetomidine and propofol. The actions of medetomidine can be rapidly reversed with the specific α2-adrenoceptor antagonist, atipamezole, which is an advantage because undesirable and sedative actions of medetomidine can be terminated.

Publication Type: Journal Article
Murdoch Affiliation: School of Veterinary Studies
Publisher: Elsevier
Copyright: © 1996 Bailli6re Tindall
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