Sedatives are used for the conduct of minor procedures on standing horses, pain relief and anaesthetic premedication. The sedatives most commonly used for horses also have side effects, especially on the functioning of the cardiovascular system and the digestive tract. We study how such side effects could be reduced with an antagonist that would reverse undesirable effects without altering the intensity of the sedation effect.
In addition, we investigate the effect of sedatives (alpha-2 receptor agonists and antagonists) on energy metabolism in healthy horses and horses suffering from metabolic diseases. The goal of this research is to make sedation safer and, consequently, improve equine welfare.