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Am J Vet Res. 2006 Oct;67(10):1675-80.

Cardiopulmonary effects of buprenorphine in horses.

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  • 1Department of Veterinary Surgery and Anesthesiology, Faculdade de Medicina Veterinária e Zootecnia, São Paulo State University--UNESP, Botucatu, SP, Brazil, 14870-000.



To investigate the effects of buprenorphine on cardiopulmonary variables and on abdominal auscultation scores in horses.


6 healthy adult horses.


Horses were restrained in stocks and allocated to 2 treatments in a randomized crossover design, with 1-week intervals between each treatment. Saline (0.9% NaCl) solution was administered IV as a control, whereas buprenorphine (10 mug/kg, IV) was administered to the experimental group. Cardiopulmonary data were collected for 120 minutes after buprenorphine or saline solution administration. Abdominal auscultation scores were monitored for 2 and 12 hours after drug administration in the control and experimental groups, respectively.


Following control treatment, horses remained calm while restrained in the stocks and no significant changes in cardiopulmonary variables were observed throughout the study. Buprenorphine administration caused excitatory phenomena (restlessness and head shaking). Heart rate, cardiac index, and arterial blood pressure were significantly increased after buprenorphine administration until the end of the observational period (120 minutes). Minimal changes were found in arterial blood gas tensions. Abdominal auscultation scores decreased significantly from baseline for 4 hours after buprenorphine administration.


Buprenorphine induced excitement and hemodynamic stimulation with minimal changes in arterial blood gas tensions. These effects may impact the clinical use of buprenorphine in horses. Further studies are indicated to investigate the effects of buprenorphine on gastrointestinal motility and fecal output.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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