Has anyone had any animals with an adverse reaction to the sedative Xylazine?

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11 years 11 months ago #31498 by topcat83
Has anyone had any animals with an adverse reaction to the sedative Xylazine?

We very nearly lost a full-grown alpaca to it yesterday - very scary.

We had three 18 month alpaca boys that needed castrating. The vet has done hundreds for our breeder, and for most he has used Zyladine and Dolorex (a barbiturate) as a mild sedative (note the mild).

He injected all three, and we watched for the first one to become dozy. When this particular one started going, it was very quickly - we had to lift him on to the trailer. Then instead of staying awake but dozy he went limp, started breathing as if he was snoring - then took a breath and just stopped breathing! The vet moved rapidly to get an antidote, and when he stepped on the trailer our boy took a deep breath - then stopped again.
An injection of some kind of antidote from our vet brought him back to us (thank goodness) and he seems as right as rain now and was munching grass just a couple of hours later.

But exit one very shaken vet and two alpaca owners...

The vet's never seen it happen before, although there can be some very severe reactions if any gets into the cartoid artery by accident, apparently. But he was very careful to avoid that. It was if he had an allergic reaction to the drug. The other two boys reacted as expected, had their ops and are now mincing round the paddock.

Has anyone else had any issues like this?

Oh dear - this is addictive. Now up to 4 alpaca boys, 6 girls (3 pregnant ones), a beautiful cria, a quarter of a stud (I hope we get the dangly bits) and six more girls on the way. The sheep who thinks he's an alpaca goes to meet some new friends tomorrow, we're down to 1 rescue cat, but are still...

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11 years 11 months ago #422960 by pisa
Hi, sorry I can't help you on the animal front, but I have had severe reactions to standard pain meds in the hospital.
I would guess that animals are like humans in that respect, and will have individually different reactions to run-of-the-mill procedures and medications.
Good to hear it all went well, the vet had the appropriate antidote ready and didn't panic.

1 hubby, 2 kids, 1 cat, 1 dog, 2 swallows and I've lost count how many offsprings with even more grandkids, 5 bunny girls, 5 bunny boys, 12 chickens (rooster, pullets, chicks and more about to hatch hopefully) and 4 goats with two of them expecting any day! (24.10.14)
But who's counting [;)]...

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11 years 11 months ago #422973 by foufee
short answer yes - very rare, we would see it once in every 1000 animals or so but we used a Ketamine/Xylazine mix.

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11 years 11 months ago #422976 by Foxwell
We had a three month old calf who took a long time to get moving again. Was lying down for an hour and a half. Vet was ready to come back out again, but luckily he did get moving again.

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11 years 11 months ago #422984 by cowvet
animals all react differently and more so if the animal is stressed etc.

All anaesthetics come with risks and i would describe something like this....anaesthetics are controlled death...you are taking the animal from somewhere fully concious to a degree of unconsciousness where they do not move, perceive what is happening or feel pain....the deeper the unconsciousness then the closer to death that they are.

I had a spectacular ketamine reaction in an alpaca once - seizuring for a couple of minutes but we concentrated on keeping her from harming herself in the thrashing and the transient reaction does pass - seems like forever at the time though...especially to the owners.
I avoid anesthetics unless they are necessary because you do have to weigh up the risks with the reson you are using them. For this reason I tend to castrate alpacas standing with just a local anaesthetic injected into the testicles. If they are used to being handled and can be restrained by a confident handler then this to me is a safer option. If the animal is difficult then a general anaesthetic is still an option. The only males I have ever knocked down are stroppy mature males that i don't feel confident from the get go that they are going to stand in one place for the procedure.

Xylazine( like any anaesthetic) can be unpredictable so being prepare and staying calm is important. its why we try and control the situation as much as possible with regard to no food prior, no water, and keeping animals as calm and quiet leading up to the jab and until they go to sleep. if an owner is fractious and nervous this will trasmit to the animal and on occassion I will ask them to leave/move away out of the pen...and/or shut up!
Some anaesthetics have reversal agents - and we carry those.... and knowing what to do if the animal stops breathing or breathes irregularly is important. I have done mouth to nose or CPR as required but most of the situations I have encounted are breathing stopping but heart still going so just restarting or supplementing the breathing for a bit is usually enough to turn them around.

Complications to varying degrees are not uncommon, deaths are rare.


I love animals...they're delicious

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11 years 11 months ago #423020 by LongRidge
When we have our donkey jacks gelded, the first question the vet asks is "what is it's weight?". If the vet has a good idea of the animals weight then he/she has a much better chance of getting the dose right :-)

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11 years 11 months ago #423043 by topcat83
Thanks for the replies everyone. I think next time we'll only use a sedative if it's a particularly stroppy or nervous male. Fortunately everyone stayed calm, but boy! did my hands shake afterwards!

He's our most gentle boy (the one that adopted our lamb) so unless he decides to take on the other entire boy for alpha position, I may well keep this alpaca entire and see how we go.

Longridge - In this case I don't think it was a wrong dose - it was definitely an unusual reaction.

And here's a couple of pictures of the lucky boy with his adopted baby (now a big strapping wethered sheep)...

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Oh dear - this is addictive. Now up to 4 alpaca boys, 6 girls (3 pregnant ones), a beautiful cria, a quarter of a stud (I hope we get the dangly bits) and six more girls on the way. The sheep who thinks he's an alpaca goes to meet some new friends tomorrow, we're down to 1 rescue cat, but are still...

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11 years 11 months ago #423185 by Ashlee
As with cowvet, noramlly done with local anesthetic unless necessary to subdue the animal with a general.

Hope they are doing well :)

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