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Effect of medetomidine and its antagonism with atipamezole on stress-related hormones, metabolites, physiologic responses, sedation, and mechanical threshold in goats

      Abstract

      Objective

      To evaluate the effects of medetomidine and its antagonism with atipamezole in goats.

      Study design

      Prospective randomized crossover study with 1 week between treatments.

      Animals

      Six healthy 3-year-old neutered goats (three male and three female) weighing 39.1–90.9 kg (60.0 ± 18 kg, mean ± SD).

      Methods

      Goats were given medetomidine (20 μg kg−1, IV) followed, 25 minutes later, by either atipamezole (100 μg kg−1, IV) or saline. Heart and respiratory rate, rectal temperature, indirect blood pressure, and mechanical threshold were measured, and sedation and posture were scored and blood samples obtained to measure epinephrine, norepinephrine, free fatty acids, glucose, and cortisol concentrations at baseline (immediately before medetomidine), 5 and 25 minutes after medetomidine administration, and at 5, 30, 60, and 120 minutes after the administration of antagonist or saline. Parametric and nonparametric tests were used to evaluate data; p < 0.05 was considered significant.

      Results

      Medetomidine decreased body temperature, heart rate, and respiratory rate and increased mean arterial blood pressure, cortisol, and glucose. Recumbency occurred 89 ± 50 seconds after medetomidine administration. All goats were standing 86 ± 24 seconds after atipamezole administration whereas all goats administered saline were sedate and recumbent at 2 hours. Tolerance to compression of the withers and metacarpus increased with medetomidine. From 5 to 120 minutes after saline or atipamezole administration, there were differences in body temperature, glucose, and cortisol but none in heart rate or blood pressure. Three of the six goats receiving saline developed bloat; five of six urinated. After atipamezole, four of six goats developed piloerection and all goats were agitated and vocalized.

      Conclusion

      At the doses used, atipamezole antagonized the effects of medetomidine on recumbency, sedation, mechanical threshold, and the increase in glucose. Atipamezole increased the rate of return of cortisol toward baseline, and prevented further decline in rectal body temperature.

      Clinical relevance

      Atipamezole may be used to antagonize some, but not all effects of medetomidine.

      Keywords

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