Food Animal Drugs
In many cases, sedatives are not required in adult cattle. Pain is controlled through local blocks and systemic drugs.
Acepromazine is an effective calming agent in ruminants. Give prior to additional stimulation and give it at least 20 minutes to work. It does cause penile protrusion but not dangerous levels of priapism.
If needed, xylazine works well in ruminants. However, they are very sensitive to the drug and take only 1/10 of the horse dose. It is almost impossible to make a horse lie down just with xylazine. It is easy to do that in cattle. As with horses, butorphanol can potentiate the effects of xylazine in ruminants, prolonging its duration.
Ruminants are NOT more sensitive to detomidine. Detomidine is used in small ruminants because the dosing is easier. However, it is an expensive drug so is rarely used in cattle.
Butorphanol sometimes causes sedation and sometimes causes excitement in ruminants. It is best to use it with a sedative or tranquilizer to minimize the risk of excitement. However, unlike in horses where we make sure they are sedated first, we can combine the drugs in the same syringe for cattle and give at the same time. We use ace-butorphanol combos for standing surgery in cattle as well as xylazine- butorphanol combos. Morphine can be substituted for butorphanol.
Ketamine () can be used in combination with xylazine and butorphanol to create a standing sedated state in ruminants. It is not used this way in horses. See the general anesthesia chapter for more information about ketamine.
If the animal is too sleepy, the alpha-2s can be partially reversed using drugs such as yohimbine (no longer available) and tolazoline. Narcotics can be reversed with naloxone. Butorphanol is actually a partial agonist-antagonist narcotic so it can reverse other narcotics.
– meat and milk
None of these agents are approved in food animal species. FARAD should be consulted for appropriate milk and meat withholding times
An anesthetic that distorts sensory perceptions and causes feelings of detachment from reality.
The amount of time needed for the drug to leave the tissues so that they are safe for human consumption. The standard tissues are meat and milk. FARAD.org is the main source of information for how much time is needed.