Veterinary Anesthesia & Analgesia Support Group
Practical Information for the Compassionate Veterinary Practitioner
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  Preanesthetic/Procedural Sedation Videos
  Butorphanol + Medetomidine
3 kittens, 3 premed protocols. One had 0.1 mg/kg hydromorphone with 0.015 mg/kg medetomidine, one had 0.2 mg/kg butorphanol with 0.015 mg/kg medetomidine, and one had 0.2 mg/kg butorphanol with 0.06 mg/kg acepromazine. Guess which was the butorphanol/acepromazine kitten. All had doppler SAPs of 100 to 110 mmHg.  

Catheter placement in the 0.2 mg/kg butorphanol 0.015 mg/kg medetomidine kitten.

The 0.1 mg/kg hydromorphone 0.015 mg/kg medetomidine kitten was not significantly different in any respect




These kitten premeds videos are meant to demonstrate the effectiveness of medetomidine at what many of us consider the high end premed dose; 0.015 mg/kg. By contrast, the IM label dose of medetomidine is as high as 0.150 mg/kg for cats. 

As you can see, both butorphanol and hydromorphone provided effective sedation without excitatory consequences. Hydromorphone would be expected to provide significantly more analgesia and for a longer duration than the butorphanol at 1/4 the cost of butorphanol. The only caution is that cats given hydromorphone must be monitored closely for the hyperthermia that may occur between 2 and 6 hours postadministration.


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Last modified: April 5, 2011 .