Major Uses

Detomidine is a sedative analgesic that is used most commonly in horses. It is primarily used for the sedation and restraint of horses.

Common Precautions

Detomidine should not be used in horses with preexisting AV or SA heart block, cerebrovascular disease, severe coronary insufficiency, respiratory disease, or chronic renal failure. Animals with endotoxic or traumatic shock, approaching shock, or advanced hepatic or renal disease should use detomidine cautiously. Caution should also be used in horses that are stressed because of fatigue, high altitude, or temperature extremes when administering this medication. Detomidine can mask abdominal pain and conceal changes in respiratory and cardiac rates, making the diagnosis of colic difficult.

Detomidine can cause various adverse side effects in patients. For instance, it may cause an initial rise in blood pressure, followed by bradycardia and heart block. Other symptoms can include sweating, piloerection, salivation, ataxia, penile prolapse, and slight muscle tremors.

Detomidine should not be used in animals with a known allergy or hypersensitivity to the drug. A veterinarian should be contacted immediately if an overdose is suspected, the symptoms of which include severe respiratory and cardiovascular changes.


Detomidine should be kept in a light resistant, tightly sealed container at room temperature. It should be protected from light and kept out of the reach of children and pets.


When being used for sedation/analgesia, a typical dose of detomidine is .02-.04 mg/kg. When treating adjunctive pain, a typical dose is between .03-.04 mg/kg. When administering in oral form because the animal will not receive injections, a typical dose is .06 mg/kg. Product information should be read carefully when determining dose amounts to avoid an overdose.

Doses may vary in different species, when the drug is given by a different route or concurrently with other medications, and with regards to a patient's age, breed, and health status. A veterinarian's dosing instructions and/or those printed on the medication label should be followed closely.

This information is for general reference only and should not be used for the diagnosis or treatment of any condition of your pet. It's intended as a general reference, this information may not include all possible uses, precautions, directions, reactions (including allergic), drug interactions, or withdrawal times. Always consult your local veterinarian and have your pet examined for any advice concerning the diagnosis and treatment of your pet, including which products and doses are most appropriate. Any trademarks are the property of their respective owners. VetDepot is not a pharmacy. All prescription products are dispensed by our Pharmacy Partner. Article last updated 2/2014.