Maidanskaia, E. G., Mirra, A., Marchionatti, E. et al. 2023. Antinociceptive, sedative and excitatory effects of intravenous butorphanol administed alone or in combination with detomidine in calves: A prospective, randomized, blinded cross-over study. Animals 13(12), 1943.

The diagnostic and therapeutic procedures performed under sedation or general anesthesia in bovines are numerous. The analgesic drugs that can be legally used are few, making perioperative analgesia challenging. (2) Methods: Calves were administered butorphanol 0.1 mg kg−1 alone (SB) or combined with 0.02 mg kg−1 of a detomidine (DB) IV. The antinociceptive effect (trigeminocervical reflex threshold (TCRt)), as well as the behavioral (sedation and excitation) and physiological (heart and respiratory rate) changes were investigated. Five time windows were defined: BL (30 min pre-injection), T1 (0–30 min post-injection (PI)), T2 (31–60 min PI), T3 (61–90 min PI) and T4 (91–120 min PI). (3) Results: Both groups had a significative increase in TCRt at T1-T4 compared to the BL. The TCRt was significatively higher in DB than in SB at T1, T2 and T4. Heart rate decreased significatively in DB compared to that in BL. Calves were significantly more sedated in the DB group, and significantly more excited in the SB group compared to the BL. (4) Conclusions: Butorphanol alone has a statistically significant antinociceptive effect, but it elicits marked excitation, limiting its clinical applicability under this dosing regimen. The co-administration of detomidine eliminated the excitatory effect and induced consistent sedation and a significantly more pronounced antinociceptive effect.

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