Diazepam Use in Tetanus in Horses and Donkeys


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Diazepam use as muscle relaxant in tetanus
Diazepam is used as muscle relaxant in case of tetanus in equines (horses,donkeys).

Brand Names
  • Diazepam Injection
  • Diazepam Intensol
  • Diazepam Oral Tablets
Diazepam affects the central nervous system and is used as a tranquilizer in horses. It helps in the management of anxiety, and also acts as a skeletal muscle relaxant, as a sedative, and has anticonvulsant effects. It is rapidly absorbed, and peak plasma levels occur within 30 minutes to two hours after dosing. It is easily distributed throughout the body. Diazepam is the anticonvulsant of choice in foals.
Diazepam is most often used in horses as a part of a preoperative sedative combination. It is also used for treatment of acute convulsions caused by neonatal maladjustment syndrome or idiopathic epilepsy. Horses with seizures induced by toxins or adverse drug effects are often treated with diazepam. Diazepam acts as a muscle relaxant, an appetite stimulant, and is useful as a tranquilizer.
Diazepam is also used to improve breeding behavior in slow or shy stallions because it tends to diminish sexual inhibition.
Dosage and Administration
(click row for calculator)
Slow Intravenous injection0.02-0.1 mg/kg 15 mg/mlTreatmentNA
Slow Intravenous injection0.05-0.4 mg/kg 25 mg/mlEpisodeNA
Slow Intravenous injection25-50 mg 35 mg/mlEpisodeNA
  • Federal law restricts this drug to use by or on the order of a licensed veterinarian.
  • Extra-label use of drugs in treating animals is allowable only by licensed veterinarians within the context of a valid veterinarian-client-patient relationship, and does not include drug use in treating animals by the layman (except under the supervision of a licensed veterinarian).
  • 1Adult horse dosage for mild sedation and muscle relaxation.
  • 2For seizures in foals. Repeat in 30 minutes if necessary. (Sweeney and Hansen 1987)
  • 3 For seizures in adult horses. Repeat in 30 minutes if necessary. (Sweeney and Hansen 1987)
  • Calculator is for educational purposes only. Follow your veterinarian's instructions regarding use of this, or any medication.
Side Effects
Diazepam may cause muscle twitching, weakness, and ataxia at dosages sufficient to cause sedation. Larger doses may induce recumbency and general central nervous system depressant effects.
Diazepam may cause excitability, aggression, or unusual behavior in some horses. It should be used with caution in debilitated or older horses, especially those with decreased kidney or liver function, and animals in shock, coma, or with significant respiratory depression. Diazepam may be addictive and should not be withdrawn suddenly from animals that have been on long-term treatment.
Diazepam should not be stored in plastic syringes or bottles, as it may be absorbed into the plastic and become inactivated.
Diazepam is a prescription drug approved by the FDA for use in horses. U. S. federal law restricts this drug to use by or on the lawful written or oral order of a licensed veterinarian.
Diazepam would be forbidden in any drug-free competition. Check with the proper regulatory group.
Metabolism of diazepam may be decreased and excessive sedation may occur if given with the following drugs: cimetidine, erythromycin, isoniazid, ketoconazole, propranolol, and valproic acid. If administered with other CNS depressant agents, such as barbiturates, narcotics, or anesthetics, additive effects may occur. Antacids may slow the rate, but not the extent, of oral absorption. Administer two hours apart to avoid this potential interaction. Pharmacologic effects of digoxin may be increased.
When administered alone, diazepam overdoses are generally limited to central nervous system depressant effects.