Many surgical and diagnostic procedures can be performed safely and humanely in conscious horses by using a combination of sedation, analgesia and local anaesthetic techniques. This article discusses sedatives and analgesics, including drugs that are administered intravenously, intramuscularly, orally or transmucosally. Drugs administered by infiltration, and/or the epidural, perineural or intra-articular routes to provide local analgesia will be discussed in a second article, to be published in a subsequent issue of In Practice.
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