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Epidural analgesia with tiletamine/zolazepam in horses
Epidural analgesia is a routine procedure in cattle, used in various surgical procedures e.g. cesarean section, foreign body removement etc. Less common it is used in horses. In this prospective, double-blind, randomized experimental study the analgesic, physiologic, and behavioral effects of the epidural administration of tiletamine/zolazepam in horses are evaluated.

Five adult, healthy horses aged 10-16 years and weighing (mean ± SD) 400 ± 98 kg were included.

The horses were sedated with 1.0 mg kg1 intravenous (IV) xylazine, and an epidural catheter was placed into the first intercoccygeal intervertebral space.
After a 48-hour resting period, epidural tiletamine/zolazepam, 0.5 mg kg1 (treatment I) or 1.0 mg kg1 (treatment II), diluted up to 5 mL in sterile water, was administered with a 1-week interval between the treatments.

Heart rate, respiratory rate, arterial blood pressure, and sedation were evaluated. In order to evaluate the respiratory effects, blood from the carotid artery was withdrawn at time 0 (baseline), and then after 60 and 240 minutes. Analgesia was evaluated by applying a noxious stimulus with blunt-tipped forceps on the perineal region, and graded as complete, moderate, or absent.
Data were collected before tiletamine/zolazepam administration and at 15-minute intervals for 120 minutes, and 4 hours after tiletamine/zolazepam administration. Data were analyzed with anova and Bonferroni`s test with p < 0.05.

The results showed no significant difference between treatments in cardiovascular and respiratory measurements. Sedation was observed with both doses, and it was significantly different from baseline at 60, 75, and 90 minutes in treatment II. Moderate analgesia and locomotor ataxia were observed with both the treatments.

These results suggest that caudal epidural 0.5 and 1.0 mg kg1 tiletamine/zolazepam increases the threshold to pressure stimulation in the perineal region in horses.

The use of epidural tiletamine/zolazepam could be indicated for short-term moderate epidural analgesia.

There are no studies examining spinal toxicity of Telazol, and further studies are necessary before recommending clinical use of this technique.

Source: Natalini, Claudio C, Alves, Simone DL, Guedes, Alonso GP, Polydoro, Alexandre S, Brondani, Juliana T & Bopp, Simone (2004): Epidural administration of tiletamine/zolazepam in horses. In: Veterinary Anaesthesia and Analgesia 31 (2), 79-85.








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