Xylazine, acepromazine, diazepam, pentobarbital, butorphanol, and chloral hydrate are used as preanesthetic medications and sedatives in farm animals (Table 6-1). Xylazine and detomidine are alpha-2 agonists that act on the central nervous system alpha-2 adrenoreceptors to cause sedation, analgesia, and muscle relaxation. Higher doses of xylazine and detomidine induce recumbency and profound CNS and respiratory depression. The amount of drug required to produce sedation depends on an animal’s temperament and excitement at the time of administration.

Excited animals cannot be sedated with standard drug dosages. In general, a xylazine dose one-tenth that needed to sedate horses is required to sedate cattle. A low concentration of xylazine (20 mg/mL vs. 100 mg/mL) is recommended to avoid overdosage because of farm animals’ sensitivity to the drug. Intravenous or intramuscular doses of xylazine (0.015 to 0.025 mg/kg) will sedate cattle without inducing re-cumbency. Higher doses of xylazine (0.1 to 0.2 mg/kg) induce recumbency and light anesthesia. Sedation is a common side effect after epidural administration of xylazine (see Local Anesthetic Techniques).


cepromazine maleate is a phenothiazine derivative that is used as a neuroleptic agent in veterinary medicine. It is a commonly used tranquilizer for dogs, cats, and horses. Phenothiazines decrease dopamine levels and depress some portions of the reticular activating system. Acepromazine is metabolized by the liver and excreted in the urine. In addition to tranquilization, acepromazine has multiple other important systemic effects including anti-cholinergic, anti-emetic, antispasmodic, antihistaminic, and alpha-adrenergic blocking properties. Acepromazine causes hypotension due to decreased vasomotor tone. It may change heart and respiratory rate and thermoregulatory ability allowing for either hypo- or hyper-thermia.

Acepromazine may be given intramuscularly, intravenously, or orally. It provides no analgesia and the tranquilizing effect of the drug can be overcome unexpectedly, particularly by sensory stimulation. Acepromazine usually is less effective if given after the animal is excited. There is a great deal of individual variability in the response to acepromazine and despite being a very commonly used medication there are important species and even breed differences in response to acepromazine that need to be taken into consideration (see precautions).


Phenothiazine derivatives are contraindicated in animals being treated with organophosphates, succinylcholine or other cholinesterase inhibitors. Epinephrine is contraindicated in the treatment of acepromazine maleate overdose. Because of its hypotensive effects, this drug is contraindicated in animals with hypovolemia or shock.

Administration And Dosage

For intramuscular, subcutaneous or slow intravenous administration. Allow at least 15 minutes for onset of action.

a) Sedation/restraint: 0.05 mg per kg body weight, IV; 0.03 – 0.11 mg per kg body weight, IM.

Uses/benefits of Acepromazine For Cattle

It has a pleasant flavour to make administration easy, convenient and safe. Sedazine A.C.P.® is a simple and safe option to for inexperienced horse owners and farmers or for those who would prefer to avoid the hassle and hazards associated with giving acepromazine by injection.

This is because Sedazine A.C.P.® is a less traumatic option for the horse, because it avoids the stress of injection.


  • Acepromazine lowers blood pressure. It should not be used in animals that are dehydrated, anemic, or in shock.
  • Acepromazine should be avoided or used with extreme caution in older animals or those with liver disease, heart disease, injury, or debilitation. If it is used in these animals, it should be given in very small doses. In some older animals, a very small dose can have a marked and very prolonged effect.
  • Acepromazine should not be used in animals with a history of epilepsy, those prone to seizures, or those receiving a myelogram because it may lower the seizure threshold.
  • Acepromazine should not be used in animals with tetanus or strychnine poisoning.
  • Acepromazine should be avoided in pregnancy or lactation. It should be avoided or used with extreme caution in young animals due to its effects on an animal’s ability to thermo regulate.
  • Dogs: Giant breeds and greyhounds may be extremely sensitive to acepromazine, while terriers may require higher doses. Brachycephalic breeds, especially Boxers, are particularly prone to cardiovascular side-effects (drop in blood pressure and slow heart-rate). Acepromazine should be avoided or used with great caution in these breeds.
  • Horses: Draft-horse breeds are especially sensitive to most sedatives including acepromazine. Pony breeds do not appear to differ from horses in their responses to acepromazine.

Prices of Acepromazine For Cattle

$44.90 – $132.99

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