A Twitch in a Tube

An oral sedative gel can help with grooming and basic horse-health procedures.

From AQHA Corporate Partner Zoetis

Grooming and basic health care procedures are part of the routine for horse owners. Often, so is dealing with an unruly horse.

Horses can soar over fences and work whole herds of cattle. Yet body clipping and shoeing can sometimes be difficult to accomplish. For these simple procedures, a standing sedative can help. Here’s how.

You may need a sedative for your anxious horse while clipping, mane pulling, changing bandages or for farrier work. Sedation produces muscle relaxation and reduces excitement. This allows basic health care procedures to be completed and may help decrease the risk of injury, for example, when a horse is turned out in the field after a period of stall rest.

Zoetis helps make all of this safer for you and less stressful for your horse with DORMOSEDAN GEL® (detomidine hydrochloride). Think of it as a humane “twitch in a tube.” Horse owners must obtain it with a veterinary prescription but can administer it themselves.

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“I needed a sedative to body clip my horse but didn't want to give him a shot or haul him 11 miles to my veterinarian for something so simple,” says Vangie Crago, a horse owner from Ephrata, Washington. “My veterinarian told me about DORMOSEDAN GEL. I was able to swing by the clinic, pick a tube and administer it myself.”

This FDA-approved oral sedative is given under the horse’s tongue. The applicator looks and acts much like a deworming tube. However, unlike a dewormer, DORMOSEDAN GEL must be administered under the tongue and not swallowed. It is a thick, blue gel that’s absorbed through the membranes of the mouth. This easy-to-use, single-dose applicator makes it a convenient option for needle-shy horses or for horse owners who are uncomfortable giving injections.

“I had never used DORMOSEDAN GEL before, but after reading the instructions, it seemed easy, and my veterinarian felt comfortable giving it to me to use,”  Vangie says. “After using the product, I wrote my veterinarian a note to thank him for recommending such a great and easy product. I hope he gives this product to more clients to try out.”

DORMOSEDAN GEL is a mild-standing sedative, so it offers light sedation. Your veterinarian will prescribe a dose based on your horse’s weight.

What effect will it have on your horse? During the 40-minute onset, your horse might spread his feet, drop his head with a sleepy gaze and start to sweat slightly. Just as with any sedative, while the horse will appear calm and relaxed, he still has the potential to spook.

How will the horse recover?

While DORMOSEDAN GEL provides 90 to 180 minutes of standing sedation, it takes at least four hours for the sedation to wear off completely. During this time, the horse can spend time in a quiet stall with all food and water removed. Once the effects of the sedative have worn off, the horse can return to normal activity.

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For competition horses, keep in mind, there are strict rules regarding the use of sedatives. Always confer with your veterinarian and your sport’s governing bodies.

Talk with your veterinarian about making your grooming and health care procedures easier and less stressful with DORMOSEDAN GEL.

“It’s safe, easy to use, inexpensive and effective!” Vangie says.

Learn more at, where you can download information sheets and watch a video about DORMOSEDAN GEL.

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