Tanzania Veterinary Journal

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Effects of epidural xylazine, lidocaine and their combination on body temperature in acepromazine-sedated dogs

W.E. Mwangi, E.M. Mogoa, J. Nguhiu-Mwangi


A prospective randomized and blinded study was carried out to compare the effects of epidural xylazine, lidocaine and their combination on body temperature in dogs. Fifteen healthy dogs were used in this study. The dogs were randomly assigned to three groups of five animals each. The first group was injected with 2% lidocaine at 4 mg/kg body weight, the second with 2% xylazine at 0.6 mg/kg body weight while the third group was injected with the drug combination of lidocaine and xylazine at 2 mg/kg body weight and 0.3 mg/kg body weight, respectively, in the same syringe. All injections were made into the lumbosacral space. Changes in rectal temperature were recorded over a 4-hour monitoring period. A significant (p<0.05) decline in the mean rectal temperature was observed in all three groups. Lidocaine caused a decrease in mean rectal temperature of 1.0 °C, xylazine 1.6 °C and lidocaine-xylazine 2.0 °C. At the end of the 4- hour monitoring period, the mean rectal temperature of the dogs in the lidocaine group remained significantly lower as compared to baseline values. Dogs injected with lidocaine had significantly higher mean temperature when compared to dogs injected with xylazine (p=0.02) and lidocaine-xylazine (p=0.003). Shivering was observed in 20% of the dogs in lidocaine group, 60% in xylazine group and 80% in lidocaine-xylazine group. It was concluded that epidural xylazine, lidocaine, and their combination caused significant change in mean rectal temperature even in the absence of any surgery. In clinical setting, this has both morbidity and mortality implications in the post-operative period.

Keywords: Dogs, Epidural, Lidocaine, Xylazine, Temperature

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