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Xylazine HCl is a non-narcotic compound that is commonly used as a sedative, analgesic, and as a muscle relaxant. Xylazine has a long-standing use in small animal practices, but it is also used in large animal and wildlife applications. In veterinary anesthesia, xylazine has often been used in combination with ketamine.
The sedative and analgesic activity of xylazine is related to central nervous system depression. Its muscle relaxant effect is based on inhibition of the intraneural transmission of impulses in the central nervous system.1 In terms of general pharmacology:
A sleeplike state, the depth of which is dose-dependent, is usually maintained for 1 to 2 hours, while analgesia lasts from 15 to 30 minutes. The centrally-acting muscle relaxant effect causes relaxation of the skeletal musculature, complementing sedation and analgesia.
In horses and Cervidae under the influence of xylazine, the respiratory rate is reduced as in natural sleep. Following treatment with xylazine, the heart rate is decreased and a transient change in the conductivity of the cardiac muscle may occur, as evidenced by a partial atrioventricular block. This resembles the atrioventricular block often observed in normal horses.2
For veterinary sedation the available literature recommends
Dogs and cats: 0.25 to 0.5 mg per pound (0.5 to 1 mg/kg) intravenous or 0.5 to 1 mg per pound (1 to 2 mg/kg), intramuscular or subcutaneous.
Horses and Cervidae: Intravenous - 0.5 ml/100 lbs body weight (0.5 mg/lb); Intramuscular - 1.0 ml/100 lbs body weight (1.0 mg/lb)
Following administration of xylazine, animals should be allowed to rest quietly until the full effect of the medication has been reached.
Adverse effects of xylazine can include muscle tremors, seizures or slowed heart rate with partial heart block and slowed breathing rate. Increased urination sometimes occurs in cats. Dogs can swallow excess air and can bloat under the effects of xylazine, with stomach tubing being necessary to remove excess air in the stomach. Vomiting can occur following xylazine administration in dogs and cats.2
Xylazine 333 mg/ml by NexGen provides superior relaxation and recovery times when used in veterinary anesthesia applications.
FOR RX ONLY: A valid prescription from a licensed veterinarian is required for dispensing this medication.
1Khursheed R., et. al. Evaluation of xylazine and ketamine for total intravenous anesthesia in horses, American Journal of Veterinary Research 2005 66:6, 1002-1007.