Last Updated on April 2, 2022 by Allison Price
In the fall, sedation is required for both clipping and for travelling.
There are three main methods horses can be sedated. Two of these are by intravenous sedation administered to them by the vet (Domosedan or Sedalin/Relaquin).
Sedalin/Relaquin The active ingredient in sedalin, ACP, is a mild sedative that reduces anxiety. Sedalin is sometimes used for horses who do not need as much sedation. The great thing about sedalin is that it can be administered by the owner using a prescription from your veterinarian. To comply with DEFRA medication dispensing regulations, the vet must have visited the horse within the last six months. Sedalin can also be administered orally as a wormer. It will take between 30-40 minutes for the sedation effect to develop fully. The effects can last up to an hour.
Domosedan’s active ingredient is detomidine. This gives horses a higher level than ACP. Domosedan is recommended for horses who require moderate sedation. Domosedan’s advantage is that it can be administered by the owner, with a prescription from your veterinarian. To comply with DEFRA medication dispensing regulations, the vet must have seen your horse within the last six months. Domosedan must be administered under the tongue, on the gum/oral mucosa. This is because it can cause problems in horses who are hard to worm. It will take between 30-40 minutes for the sedation effect to fully develop. Therefore, it is important to allow enough time before you start any procedures. The average duration of sedation is about an hour.
I/V Sedation is administered through the vein to horses who require more sedation than is available with oral sedation. There are many factors that affect the type and dosage of sedation. These include how long it takes, what procedure is being performed, the depth of sedation needed, and how sensitive the horse to sedation. I/V sedation is a procedure that requires a vet visit. It can be done through our zone visit program. I/V sedation has many advantages. It gives horses a deeper level of sedation. This is especially useful for horses who are sensitive to certain procedures. The vet can wait up to 15 minutes for I/V sedation to allow a ‘top-up’ in case the horse begins to feel the effects of sedation. I/V sedation is typically a combination of a sedative and a painkiller that produces a deeper sedation but less sensitive to touch.