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  • Author or Editor: Elizabeth A. Trachte x
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To evaluate analgesic effects after epidural administration of medetomidine to cows, compared with effects of lidocaine hydrochloride and 0.9% NaCI solution.


6 adult beef cows.


3 treatments were administered to each cow, with a 1-week interval between subsequent treatments. Treatments consisted of 5 ml of physiologic saline (0.9% NaCI) solution; 0.2 mg of lidocaine/kg of body weight, not to exceed 100 mg (5 ml); and 15 μg of medetomidine/kg, diluted with 0.9% NaCI solution to provide a volume of 5 ml. Epidural injections were given in the first or second coccygeal space. Heart rate, respiratory rate, and arterial blood pressure values were recorded before injection, 5 and 10 minutes after injection, and at 10-minute intervals thereafter. Onset and duration of analgesia, sedation, and ataxia were recorded. A repeated-measures ANOVA was used to detect differences between treatments.


Epidural administration of 0.9% NaCI solution did not induce analgesia. Lidocaine induced analgesia within 5 to 20 minutes, which lasted 10 to 115 minutes (mean ± SD, 43.3 ± 37.2 minutes). Heart rate decreased during lidocaine-induced analgesia. Heart and respiratory rates decreased, but blood pressure remained unchanged, after medetomidine administration. Medetomidine induced analgesia within 5 to 10 minutes, which lasted 412 ± 156 minutes. Mild to moderate sedation and moderate ataxia were observed. Two cows became recumbent, but were easily coaxed to stand. Medetomidine-induced salivation and increased frequency of urination were observed in all cows.

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance

Epidural administration of medetomidine induced prolonged analgesia that was suitable for perineal surgery, post-operative analgesia, and relief of continuous straining. (Am J Vet Res 1998;59:162–167)

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in American Journal of Veterinary Research