Effect of metoclopramide on nausea and emesis in dogs premedicated with morphine and dexmedetomidine

Published:November 06, 2017DOI:



      To evaluate whether subcutaneous (SC) metoclopramide (0.2 mg kg−1) administered 30 minutes prior to (T30) or simultaneously with (T0) intramuscular (IM) morphine (0.2 mg kg−1) and dexmedetomidine (0.003 mg kg−1) reduces the incidence of nausea and emesis in healthy dogs.

      Study design

      Prospective, randomized and blinded study.


      A total of 45 dogs scheduled for elective procedures.


      Dogs were assigned randomly to three groups to be administered SC metoclopramide (0.2 mg kg−1) 30 minutes before (group M30) or simultaneously (group M0) to IM morphine (0.2 mg kg−1) and dexmedetomidine (0.003 mg kg−1). Dogs in the control group (group C) were administered SC saline at T30 and T0. Dogs were observed for 30 minutes after premedication to evaluate signs of nausea (continuous lip-licking and sialorrhoea) and emesis. Signs of pain or discomfort caused by SC injections were also recorded.


      There were no statistical differences amongst groups for age, body weight and sex. More dogs developed continuous lip-licking in group C (12/15, 80.0%) compared to dogs in group M30 (1/15, 6.7%) and dogs in group M0 (5/15, 33.3%; p = 0.0001 and p = 0.01, respectively). More dogs developed sialorrhoea in group M0 (8/15, 53.3%) and in group C (10/15, 66.7%) compared to dogs in group M30 (2/15, 13.3%; p = 0.03 and p = 0.004, respectively). More dogs vomited in group M0 (4/15, 26.7%) and in group C (9/15, 60.0%) compared to dogs in group M30 (0/15, 0.0%; p = 0.05 and p = 0.0003, respectively). None of the dogs demonstrated signs of pain or discomfort during SC metoclopramide injection.

      Conclusions and clinical relevance:

      Subcutaneous metoclopramide at 0.2 mg kg−1 may reduce IM morphine and dexmedetomidine-induced nausea and emesis if administered 30 minutes in advance. It is effective in reducing lip-licking even when administered concurrently with IM morphine–dexmedetomidine.


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