SEDATIVE AND ANALGESIC EFFECTS OF MEDETOMIDINE IN BEAGLE DOGS INFECTED AND UNINFECTED WITH HEARTWORM


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Abstract

The sedative and analgesic effects of medetomidine were evaluated in heartworm-infected (HW+) and uninfected (HW) beagle dogs by intravenous (IV) and intramuscular (IM) administration of 30 μg/kg and 40 μg/kg doses, respectively. Posture, response to noise and the pedal reflex were monitored. A procedure for mock radiographic positioning was performed to evaluate its overall clinical use. Observation times were 0, 15, 30, 60, 90, 120 and 180 min. In addition, the times from injection until the dog could not stand on its feet (down time), from lateral to sternal recumbency (sternal recumbency time), and from sternal recumbency to rising again (rising time) were also noted.Medetomidine produced rapid sedation and analgesia by both routes. Down times for the IM and IV routes were similar, which verified the manufacturer's recommended doses. The HW+ dogs had shorter down times, probably owing to increased blood flow to the brain caused by adrenergic alpha-2 activity. Sternal recumbency and rising times did not differ between the groups, suggesting a similar metabolism. Sedation and analgesia were adequate for performing the procedure in all dogs. HW– dogs showed less resistance to handling during the procedure than HW+ dogs. Overall, medetomidine seems to be a suitable agent for short-term chemical restraint in dogs, even with subclinical heartworm infestation.

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