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  • Author or Editor: Karl W. Kersting x
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in Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association


Three doses of an α2-adrenoreceptor antagonist, atipamezole, were administered to reverse xylazine-induced sedation, bradycardia, and ruminal atony in calves. Once a week for 4 weeks, each of 6 calves was administered iv 1 treatment of: 0.3 mg of xylazine/kg of body weight, followed in 10 minutes by 1 ml of 0.9% NaCl; 0.3 mg of xylazine/kg, followed in 10 minutes by 3 μg of atipamezole/kg; 0.3 mg of xylazine/kg, followed in 10 minutes by 10 μg of atipamezole/kg; or 0.3 mg of xylazine/kg, followed in 10 minutes by 30 μg of atipamezole/kg. The order of the 4 treatments in each calf was selected at random. Xylazine alone caused lateral recumbency for 33.6 ±7.1 minutes (mean ± sem-). Atipamezole administered at dosages of 3, 10, and 30 μg/kg shortened xylazine-induced lateral recumbency to 20.5 ± 3.0, 10.2 ± 0.2, and 9.3 ± 0.5 minutes, respectively. Calves given xylazine alone stood at > 60 minutes after the onset of recumbency. Atipamezole given at 3, 10, and 30 μg/kg shortened the time from onset of lateral recumbency to standing to 40.2 ± 6.9, 12.8 ± 1.1, and 10.0 ± 0.7 minutes, respectively. Drowsiness was found in calves given the lowest dosage of atipamezole (3 μg/kg) after the calves stood.

Atipamezole given at dosages of 10 and 30 μg/kg reversed xylazine-induced ruminal atony in a dose-dependent manner. In addition, 30 μg of atipamezole/kg reversed xylazine-induced bradycardia, but the lower dosages of this antagonist did not. Results indicated that 30 μg of atipamezole/kg should be a useful antidote for xylazine overdose in cattle.

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in American Journal of Veterinary Research