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  • Author or Editor: Vincent J. Thawley x
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Objective—To compare the use of dexmedetomidine hydrochloride, xylazine hydrochloride, and hydrogen peroxide for emesis induction in cats.

Design—Retrospective case series.

Animals—43 client-owned cats for which emesis induction was attempted because of known or suspected toxicant ingestion or recent ingestion of a string foreign body.

Procedures—Data collected from the cats’ medical records included type, dose, and route of administration of emetic agent; outcome of attempted emesis induction; time until emesis or postemesis administration of a reversal agent (to counter sedative effects of the emetic agent); and adverse events.

Results—Emesis induction was attempted by oral administration of hydrogen peroxide (n = 3) or IM or IV administration of xylazine (25 [including 1 cat that had already received hydrogen peroxide]) or dexmedetomidine (16). No cat that received hydrogen peroxide vomited. Emesis was induced in 11 of 25 xylazine-treated cats and in 13 of 16 dexmedetomidine-treated cats. Dexmedetomidine was more likely to cause vomiting than xylazine (OR, 5.5; 95% confidence interval, 1.1 to 36). The median dose of dexmedetomidine that caused emesis was 7. 0 μg/kg (3.2 μg/lb; range, 0.96 to 10.0 μg/kg [0.44 to 4.55 μg/lb]). The elapsed time until emesis or postemesis reversal agent administration was recorded for 5 xylazine-treated cats (median interval, 10 minutes [range, 5 to 175 minutes]) and 10 dexmedetomidine-treated cats (median interval, 5 minutes [range, 1 to 12 minutes]). Sedation was the only adverse effect, occurring in 2 xylazine-treated cats and 1 dexmedetomidine-treated cat.

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Results indicated that dexmedetomidine can be used successfully to induce emesis in cats.

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in Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association



To prospectively compare the effectiveness and any adverse effects of apo-morphine administered SC or IV for induction of emesis in dogs.


42 client-owned dogs.


Dogs for which emesis induction was deemed appropriate by the attending clinician were prospectively randomized to receive apomorphine (0.03 mg/kg [0.01 mg/lb]) either SC (n = 20) or IV (22). Data collected included whether emesis was successfully induced, time from drug administration to emesis, number of emetic events, and adverse events (eg, sedation, protracted vomiting, or other).


Of the 20 dogs given apomorphine SC, 16 (80%) vomited. Of the 22 dogs given apomorphine IV, 18 (82%) vomited. With regard to route of administration, the number of dogs in which emesis was induced did not differ significantly. Median time to the first emetic event was 13.5 minutes (range, 3 to 32 minutes) in the SC treatment group and 2 minutes (range, 1 to 5 minutes) in the IV treatment group; the difference was significant. There was no significant difference in the number of emetic events or frequency of adverse events between the 2 groups.


Apomorphine administered SC or IV reliably induced emesis in dogs. Compared with SC administration of apomorphine, the time from drug administration to emesis associated with IV administration was significantly shorter, a finding that has clinical importance. (J Am Vet Med Assoc 2021;259:283–287)

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in Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association