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Optimum Drug Combinations for the Sedation of Growing Boars Prior to Castration

By Heidi S. Lehmann, Dominique Blache, Eleanor Drynan, Pema Tshewang, David J.C. Blignaut, Gabrielle C. Musk

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Juvenile male pigs were sedated for castration. Eight five-month old boars were sedated twice (two weeks apart) with a combination of detomidine (0.1 mg/kg), midazolam (0.2 mg/kg) and either butorphanol (0.2 mg/kg) (Group MDB, n = 8) or morphine (0.2 mg/kg) (Group MDM, n = 8) intramuscularly. The boars were positioned in lateral recumbency and lidocaine (200 mg total) was injected into the testicle and scrotal skin. Castration of a single testicle was performed on two occasions. Sedation and reaction (to positioning and surgery) scores, pulse rate, respiratory rate, haemoglobin oxygen saturation, body temperature, arterial blood gas parameters and the times to immobility and then recovery were recorded. Atipamezole was administered if spontaneous recovery was not evident within 60 min of sedative administration. Data were compared with either a paired-sample t-test or a Wilcoxon-Signed Rank Test. There was no difference in sedation score, body temperature, respiratory rate and haemoglobin oxygen saturation between MDB and MDM. Mild hypoxaemia was noted in both groups. There was less reaction to castration after MDB. The pulse rate was higher after MDM sedation. The times to immobility and then recovery were similar. The combination of MDB provided more reliable sedation than MDM. MDB may be useful for sedation for short procedures in pigs, though oxygen supplementation is recommended to avoid hypoxaemia.


Katie Osborn

Date 2017
Publication Title Animals
Volume 7
Issue 8
ISBN/ISSN 2076-2615
Publisher Multidisciplinary Digital Publishing Institute
Location of Publication Basel, Switzerland
DOI 10.3390/ani7080061
Language English
Additional Language English
Cite this work

Researchers should cite this work as follows:

  1. Castration
  2. Health
  3. Mammals
  4. Medication
  5. morphine
  6. Pigs
  7. sedation
  8. sedatives