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  • Author or Editor: Carolina H. Ricco Pereira x
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To evaluate the sedative and cardiorespiratory effects of IM administration of alfaxalone and butorphanol combined with acepromazine, midazolam, or dexmedetomidine in dogs.


6 young healthy mixed-breed hounds.


Dogs received each of 3 treatments (alfaxalone [2 mg/kg] and butorphanol [0.4 mg/kg] combined with acepromazine [0.02 mg/kg; AB-ace], midazolam [0.2 mg/kg; AB-mid], or dexmedetomidine [0.005 mg/kg; AB-dex], IM) in a blinded, randomized crossover-design study with a 1-week washout period between treatments. Sedation scores and cardiorespiratory variables were recorded at predetermined time points. Data were analyzed by use of mixed-model ANOVA and linear generalized estimating equations with post hoc adjustments.


All treatments resulted in moderate to deep sedation (median score, ≥ 15/21) ≤ 5 minutes after injection. Sedation scores did not differ among treatments until the 40-minute time point, when the score was higher for AB-dex than for other treatments. Administration of AB-dex resulted in median scores reflecting deep sedation until 130 minutes, versus 80 and 60 minutes for AB-ace and AB-mid, respectively, after injection. Heart rate, cardiac output, and oxygen delivery decreased significantly after AB-dex, but not AB-ace or AB-mid administration. Respiratory variables remained within clinically acceptable ranges after all treatments. Undesirable recovery characteristics were observed in 4 dogs after AB-mid treatment. Four dogs required atipamezole administration 180 minutes after AB-dex injection.


All protocols produced reliable sedation. The results indicated that in young, healthy dogs, AB-mid may produce undesirable recovery characteristics; AB-dex treatment caused cardiovascular depression and should be used with caution.

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in American Journal of Veterinary Research