Dechra launches Zenalpha – innovation in sedation for dogs - Veterinary Practice
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Dechra launches Zenalpha – innovation in sedation for dogs

Dechra has launched Zenalpha, an alpha-2 agonist and peripheral antagonist combination, that is said to innovate sedation in canine patients

Dechra has launched Zenalpha, an alpha-2 agonist and peripheral antagonist combination.

The product helps maintain the stability of critical physiological parameters and alleviate the stress of sedation in dogs (Turunen and Zimmerman, IVECCS 2022).

With its rapid onset and recovery, Zenalpha provides restraint, sedation and analgesia during non-invasive non-or mildly painful procedures and examinations intended to last no more than 30 minutes.

It is easily administered intramuscularly and takes effect within 5 to 15 minutes, allowing vets to start procedures quickly and optimise patient monitoring

Zenalpha contains the active ingredients 0.5 mg/ml medetomidine hydrochloride and 10mg/ml vatinoxan hydrochloride. 

Medetomidine is an alpha-2 agonist used for its sedative and analgesic properties. It is the most widely used alpha-2 adrenoreceptor agonist in Europe.

Vatinoxan is a peripherally selective alpha-2 antagonist with limited penetration across the blood-brain barrier. Therefore, it works to antagonise only the alpha-2 receptors located in the periphery, reducing cardiovascular side effects without impacting the quality of sedation or analgesia.

In a study of 223 dogs comparing a traditional alpha-2 agonist with Zenalpha, Zenalpha was found to minimise cardiovascular side effects while preserving reliable sedation and analgesia (Turunen and Zimmerman, IVECCS 2022). 

It offers faster time to onset and a shorter duration of sedation with faster recovery in most dogs.

Moreover, Zenalpha maintained canine patients’ heart rate and blood pressure closer to normal and improved cardiac output.

Matt Gurney, BVSc, CertVA, PgCertVBM, DipECVAA, FRCVS, RCVS and EBVS European Specialist in Veterinary Anaesthesia and hospital director at Anderson Moores, introduced Zenalpha to vets in his “Zennovation in sedation – the next generation of alpha-2 agonists” sessions at the London Vet Show. 

He said: “Zenalpha not only provides a solution to cases where IV placement is not possible and a rapid onset IM option is required, but it also offers a rapid and complete recovery which ensures that dogs can be reunited with their owners and return home as soon as possible.”

Zenalpha is presented in a 10 ml glass vial in individually packed cardboard boxes. 

For further information on Zenalpha and to view a mode of action video visit the Dechra website or contact your local Dechra territory manager. 

To view Matt Gurney’s ‘Zennovation in sedation – the next generation of alpha-2 agonists’ session from LVS go to

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