OBJECTIVE To evaluate cardiopulmonary, sedative, and antinociceptive effects of dexmedetomidine combined with commonly administered opioids in dogs.
ANIMALS 8 healthy Beagles.
PROCEDURES Dogs were sedated by IM administration of each of 7 treatments. Treatments comprised dexmedetomidine (0.01 mg/kg; Dex) and the same dose of dexmedetomidine plus butorphanol (0.15 mg/kg; Dex-But), meperidine (5 mg/kg; Dex-Mep), methadone (0.5 mg/kg; Dex-Meth), morphine (0.5 mg/kg; Dex-Mor), nalbuphine (0.5 mg/kg; Dex-Nal), or tramadol (5 mg/kg; Dex-Tram). Cardiorespiratory and arterial blood gas variables and sedative and antinociceptive scores were measured before drug injection (time 0; baseline) and at 15-minute intervals for 120 minutes.
RESULTS Heart rate was reduced at all time points after injection of Dex-But, Dex-Mep, Dex-Meth, and Dex-Mor treatments. There was a significant reduction of mean arterial blood pressure for Dex-But, Dex-Mep, and Dex-Mor treatments at all time points, compared with baseline. There was a significant decrease in respiratory rate, compared with the baseline value, for Dex, Dex-But, Dex-Meth, and Dex-Tram treatments from 15 to 120 minutes. A significant decrease in arterial blood pH was detected from baseline to 120 minutes for all treatments, with differences among Dex, Dex-Mep, and Dex-Mor. Reduction in Pao2 was greater for the Dex-Mep treatment than for the other treatments. The highest sedation scores were detected for Dex-Mep and Dex-Meth treatments. Antinociceptive effects were superior for Dex-But, Dex-Meth, Dex-Mor, and Dex-Nal treatments.
CONCLUSIONS AND CLINICAL RELEVANCE Drug combinations caused similar cardiorespiratory changes, with greater sedative effects for Dex-Mep and Dex-Meth and superior antinociceptive effects for Dex-But, Dex-Meth, Dex-Mor, and Dex-Nal.