Neurohormonal and metabolic effects of medetomidine compared with xylazine in beagle dogs

T. D. Ambrisko, Y. Hikasa

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


This study was aimed to investigate and compare the effects of medetomidine and xylazine on the blood level of some stress-related neurohormonal and metabolic variables in clinically normal dogs, especially focusing on time and dose relations of the effects. A total of 9 beagle dogs were used for 9 groups, which were treated with physiological saline solution (control), 10, 20, 40, and 80 μg/kg medetomidine, and 1, 2, 4, and 8 mg/kg xylazine, intramuscularly. Blood samples were taken at 10 times during 24 h from a central venous catheter. Plasma norepinephrine, epinephrine, cortisol, glucose, insulin, glucagon, and non-esterified fatty acid concentrations were determined. Both medetomidine and xylazine similarly and dose-dependently inhibited norepinephrine release and lipolysis. Medetomidine suppressed epinephrine release dose-dependently with greater potency than xylazine. Xylazine also tended to decrease epinephrine levels dose-dependently. The cortisol and glucagon levels did not change significantly in any treatment group. Both drugs suppressed insulin secretion with similar potency. Both medetomidine and xylazine increased glucose levels. The hyperglycemic effect of medetomidine, in contrast with xylazine, was not dose-dependent at the tested dosages. The results suggested that the effect of medetomidine on glucose metabolism may not be due only to α2-adrenoceptor-mediated actions.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)42-49
Number of pages8
JournalCanadian Journal of Veterinary Research
Issue number1
StatePublished - 2002
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Veterinary


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