The effects of xylazine or detomidine when used as a pre-anesthetic sedative on recovery quality and duration in horses undergoing elective equine castration. Academic Article uri icon


  • The purpose of this prospective, blinded, randomized clinical trial was to compare the effects of low dose detomidine to xylazine on recovery quality and duration in a castration procedure. Horses were administered either detomidine [0.015 mg/kg body weight (BW)] or xylazine (1.1 mg/kg BW) intravenously (IV) before IV induction with ketamine (2.2 mg/kg BW) and diazepam (0.05 mg/kg BW). Two anesthesiologists who were unaware of treatment allocation scored the recoveries using a simple descriptive scale (with a low number representing the most desirable recovery) and recoveries were timed. Horses in the detomidine group (n = 16) had a median recovery score of 16 (range: 11 to 26), whereas horses in the xylazine group (n = 12) had a median recovery score of 12 (range: 10 to 16) (P = 0.001). There was no difference in surgery time (P = 0.52), time from the end of surgery to standing (P = 0.45), or time from induction to standing (P = 0.48) between the groups.

published proceedings

  • Can Vet J

author list (cited authors)

  • Jarosinski, S. K., Simon, B. T., Hatfield, R., Matthews, N. S., & Arnold, C. E.

citation count

  • 0

complete list of authors

  • Jarosinski, Sarah K||Simon, Bradley T||Hatfield, Rylee||Matthews, Nora S||Arnold, Carolyn E

publication date

  • January 2021