Objective—To compare efficacy of 3 regimens of orally administered sedatives and determine physiologic effects of 1 of these regimens in healthy cats.
Design—Prospective randomized study.
Procedure—Cats were assigned to 1 of 3 groups that were treated by oral administration of detomidine and ketamine, xylazine and ketamine, or medetomidine and ketamine. Cats were monitored for degree of sedation at 5-minute intervals for 60 minutes. Physiologic effects in cats treated with detomidine and ketamine were measured at 5-minute intervals for 30 minutes and compared with effects in cats treated IM with detomidine and ketamine or xylazine and ketamine.
Results—All cats treated orally with detomidine and ketamine became laterally recumbent; sedation was more variable in the other 2 groups treated orally. Vomiting and excessive salivation were the only adverse effects. Bradycardia (heart rate < 145 beats/min) was detected at each evaluation time in cats treated orally with detomidine and ketamine and in all cats treated IM. Minimal differences among groups were detected for heart and respiratory rates, rectal temperature, and hemoglobin oxygen saturation.
Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Oral administration of detomidine and ketamine is an effective method of sedating healthy cats and induces minimal physiologic effects that are similar to those resulting from IM administration of sedatives. (J Am Vet Med Assoc 2000;216:1929–1932)