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Efficacy of sublingual administration of detomidine gel for sedation of horses undergoing veterinary and husbandry procedures under field conditions

Rachel B. GardnerBW Furlong and Associates, 101 Homestead Rd, Oldwick, NJ 08858.

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Gary W. WhiteSallisaw Equine Clinic, 213 N Shiloh St, Sallisaw, OK 74955.

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Deborah S. RamseyPfizer Animal Health, Veterinary Medicine Research & Development, 333 Portage Rd, Building 300, Kalamazoo, MI 49007.

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Joseph F. BoucherPfizer Animal Health, Veterinary Medicine Research & Development, 333 Portage Rd, Building 300, Kalamazoo, MI 49007.

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W. Randal KilgorePfizer Animal Health, Veterinary Medicine Research & Development, 333 Portage Rd, Building 300, Kalamazoo, MI 49007.

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Mirja K. HuhtinenOrion Corporation, Orion Pharma, Research and Development, Tengströminkatu 8, 20360 Turku, Finland.

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Abstract

Objective—To determine whether sublingual detomidine gel administration to horses would be effective in providing an appropriate degree of sedation and restraint to facilitate completion of veterinary and husbandry procedures under field conditions.

Design—Multicenter, prospective, randomized, blinded, placebo-controlled clinical study.

Animals—270 client-owned horses known to require sedation or strong restraint to enable veterinary and husbandry procedures to be performed.

Procedures—Horses randomly received a single dose of detomidine gel (0.04 mg/kg [0.018 mg/lb]) or placebo gel administered sublingually. Horses were sedated to facilitate cleaning the prepuce, cutting of hair with electric clippers, hoof trimming or application of shoes, manual dental floating (ie, rasping or filing of the teeth to remove irregularities), nasogastric passage of a stomach tube or endoscope, and radiography. The primary determinant of efficacy was an assessment by a veterinarian on the ability or inability to successfully conduct the procedure.

Results—171 horses met all the study protocol criteria. One hundred twenty-nine horses were treated with detomidine. The procedure was completed successfully for 76% (98/129) of the detomidine-treated horses, while the procedure was completed successfully for only 7% (3/42) of the placebo-treated horses. The percentage of horses in which the procedure was successfully completed was significantly different between detomidine-treated horses and placebo-treated horses. No serious adverse effects were reported.

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Detomidine gel administered to horses sublingually at a dose of 0.04 mg/kg provided an appropriate degree of sedation and restraint to facilitate completion of veterinary and husbandry procedures in horses known to require sedation for such procedures.

Abstract

Objective—To determine whether sublingual detomidine gel administration to horses would be effective in providing an appropriate degree of sedation and restraint to facilitate completion of veterinary and husbandry procedures under field conditions.

Design—Multicenter, prospective, randomized, blinded, placebo-controlled clinical study.

Animals—270 client-owned horses known to require sedation or strong restraint to enable veterinary and husbandry procedures to be performed.

Procedures—Horses randomly received a single dose of detomidine gel (0.04 mg/kg [0.018 mg/lb]) or placebo gel administered sublingually. Horses were sedated to facilitate cleaning the prepuce, cutting of hair with electric clippers, hoof trimming or application of shoes, manual dental floating (ie, rasping or filing of the teeth to remove irregularities), nasogastric passage of a stomach tube or endoscope, and radiography. The primary determinant of efficacy was an assessment by a veterinarian on the ability or inability to successfully conduct the procedure.

Results—171 horses met all the study protocol criteria. One hundred twenty-nine horses were treated with detomidine. The procedure was completed successfully for 76% (98/129) of the detomidine-treated horses, while the procedure was completed successfully for only 7% (3/42) of the placebo-treated horses. The percentage of horses in which the procedure was successfully completed was significantly different between detomidine-treated horses and placebo-treated horses. No serious adverse effects were reported.

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Detomidine gel administered to horses sublingually at a dose of 0.04 mg/kg provided an appropriate degree of sedation and restraint to facilitate completion of veterinary and husbandry procedures in horses known to require sedation for such procedures.

Contributor Notes

Dr. Kilgore's present address is Pfizer Global Research & Development, 50 Pequot Ave, New London, CT 06320.

Supported by Pfizer Animal Health.

The authors thank Linda Compton, Sarah Salmon, and Dr. Jay Donecker for technical assistance.

Address correspondence to Dr. Huhtinen (mirja.huhtinen@orionpharma.com).

Participants in the study are listed at the end of the article.