Cardiorespiratory, Sedative and Antinociceptive Effects of a Medetomidine Constant Rate Infusion with Morphine, Ketamine or Both

Thumbnail Image
Full text at PDC
Publication Date
Advisors (or tutors)
Journal Title
Journal ISSN
Volume Title
Google Scholar
Research Projects
Organizational Units
Journal Issue
Standing surgery under sedation reduces anesthetic-related mortality in horses. Medetomidine, alone and combined with morphine in a constant rate infusion (CRI), has been described for standing surgery but their cardiorespiratory, sedative and antinociceptive effects have never been compared. The addition of ketamine could improve analgesia in these procedures with minimal cardiorespiratory consequences. The objectives were to compare the cardiorespiratory effects, quality of sedation, antinociception and ataxia produced by administration of a medetomidine-based CRI with morphine, ketamine or both, in standing horses. A prospective, blind, randomized crossover, experimental design with six healthy adult horses was performed, in which four treatments were administered to all horses with at least two weeks of washout period: medetomidine (M); medetomidine and ketamine (MK); medetomidine and morphine (MMo); and medetomidine, morphine and ketamine (MMoK). Dosages were the same in all treatment groups: medetomidine at 5 µg/kg bwt followed by 5 µg/kg bwt/h, ketamine at 0.4 mg/kg/h and morphine at 50 µg/kg bwt, followed by morphine 30 µg/kg bwt/h. Drug infusions were maintained for 120 min. Cardiorespiratory variables, sedation degree and antinociceptive effects were evaluated during the procedure. All combinations produced similar sedation and antinociceptive effects and no clinically relevant alterations in cardiorespiratory variables occurred. Medetomidine CRI combined with morphine, ketamine or both are suitable and safe protocols for standing sedation in horses and the addition of morphine and/or ketamine did not cause any negative effect but no improving effect on sedation and antinociception was detected.