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Res Vet Sci. 1993 Jan;54(1):52-6.

Analgesic effects of detomidine in thoroughbred horses with chronic tendon injury.

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  • 1Department of Pharmacology, Veterinary Surgery and Anatomy, University of Bristol.


This study was undertaken to assess the analgesia provided by detomidine (20 micrograms kg-1 intravenously) in thoroughbred horses. Pain thresholds to a mechanical noxious stimulus were measured before and after a period of mild chronic pain in one foreleg. Detomidine was a good analgesic in control animals; their pain thresholds were significantly elevated for about 60 minutes. After injury, the injured leg had a significantly lower pain threshold and the intensity and duration of analgesia provided by detomidine were significantly reduced. The analgesia in the opposite (sound) leg was also reduced, indicating that there were both central and peripheral aspects to this increased sensitivity to painful stimuli. Detomidine deserves to be considered as a potent analgesic in the horse rather than a sedative with analgesic side effects.

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