Evaluation of sedative, analgesic, physiological, and laboratory effects of two doses off medetomidine and xylazine in dromedary calves

J Vet Pharmacol Ther. 2019 Jul;42(4):411-419. doi: 10.1111/jvp.12779. Epub 2019 Jun 17.


The present study aims to comparatively evaluate the effects of different doses of intravenous xylazine and medetomidine on sedation and antinociception scores, and physiological and laboratory parameters in dromedary calves. Thirty clinically healthy male dromedary calves 15 ± 2 weeks old and weighing 95 ± 5.5 kg were studied. Two groups received xylazine at low (0.2 mg/kg) and high (0.4 mg/kg) doses. Two groups received medetomidine at low (10 µg/kg) and high (20 µg/kg) doses. One group received normal saline. Sedation signs were scored using a 3-point scale. Analgesic effect was analyzed using pinpricks. Data were analyzed by one-way ANOVA and Mann-Whitney U-tests. Sedation and antinociception scores of the animals 1 hr after receiving the higher dose of xylazine and medetomidine were significantly higher than that of other groups. Compared with other studied groups, the animals receiving the higher dose of xylazine showed significantly higher potassium and creatinine serum levels after 24 hr. Doses as high as 0.4 mg/kg for xylazine and 20 µg/kg for medetomidine can be considered safe and useful for procedures associated with mild pain in dromedary calves.

Keywords: dromedary calves; electrolytes; glucose; hematological indices; hepatic and renal biomarkers.

Publication types

  • Randomized Controlled Trial, Veterinary

MeSH terms

  • Analgesia / veterinary*
  • Animals
  • Camelus*
  • Conscious Sedation / veterinary*
  • Hypnotics and Sedatives / pharmacology
  • Male
  • Medetomidine / pharmacology*
  • Pain / drug therapy
  • Pain / veterinary
  • Xylazine / pharmacology*


  • Hypnotics and Sedatives
  • Xylazine
  • Medetomidine