The aim of this randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled, parallel group clinical field study was to evaluate the effect of detomidine oromucosal gel in alleviating anxiety and fear in horses. Sixteen horses with a history of acute anxiety and fear associated with firework-related noise entered the study. On New Year's Eve, eight horses were treated with 30 μg/kg detomidine gel and eight horses with placebo gel. When fireworks were present, 75% (6/8) of the detomidine-treated horses were scored by their owners as having a good or excellent treatment effect on anxiety and fear, while 50% (3/6) of horses receiving placebo were scored to have a good effect. Horses' behavior was video-recorded and assessed with a focal animal continuous method by a treatment-blind expert observer. Results showed that when fireworks were present, walking behavior decreased significantly (p < 0.05) after treatment with detomidine and that horses of the placebo group, overall, showed more restlessness, vocalization, and signs of colic (Wilcoxon matched-pairs test on the first PC, p = 0.007). This study indicates that detomidine oromucosal gel can be used to alleviate acute noise-related anxiety and fear in horses, but larger treatment groups are needed to confirm the results.

Use of Detomidine Oromucosal Gel for Alleviation of Acute Anxiety and Fear in Horses: A Pilot Study / F. Dai, J. Rausk, J. Aspegren, M. Huhtinen, S. Cannas, M. Minero. - In: FRONTIERS IN VETERINARY SCIENCE. - ISSN 2297-1769. - 7(2020 Oct 21).

Use of Detomidine Oromucosal Gel for Alleviation of Acute Anxiety and Fear in Horses: A Pilot Study

F. Dai
Primo
;
S. Cannas
Penultimo
;
M. Minero
Ultimo
2020-10-21

Abstract

The aim of this randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled, parallel group clinical field study was to evaluate the effect of detomidine oromucosal gel in alleviating anxiety and fear in horses. Sixteen horses with a history of acute anxiety and fear associated with firework-related noise entered the study. On New Year's Eve, eight horses were treated with 30 μg/kg detomidine gel and eight horses with placebo gel. When fireworks were present, 75% (6/8) of the detomidine-treated horses were scored by their owners as having a good or excellent treatment effect on anxiety and fear, while 50% (3/6) of horses receiving placebo were scored to have a good effect. Horses' behavior was video-recorded and assessed with a focal animal continuous method by a treatment-blind expert observer. Results showed that when fireworks were present, walking behavior decreased significantly (p < 0.05) after treatment with detomidine and that horses of the placebo group, overall, showed more restlessness, vocalization, and signs of colic (Wilcoxon matched-pairs test on the first PC, p = 0.007). This study indicates that detomidine oromucosal gel can be used to alleviate acute noise-related anxiety and fear in horses, but larger treatment groups are needed to confirm the results.
Settore AGR/19 - Zootecnica Speciale
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: http://hdl.handle.net/2434/777314
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