Make Routine Horse Care Easier with Oral Sedation

Prescribed by your veterinarian, administered by you.

Zoetis Equine

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We do our best to keep our horses happy, healthy and performing their best, but they don’t always recognize our good intentions. Routine care practices that seem straightforward to us can stress even the calmest of horses, creating situations that are dangerous, difficult and inconvenient for everyone involved.

If your horse is prone to nervousness or is fidgety, consider asking your veterinarian about Dormosedan® Gel (detomidine hydrochloride) to help you accomplish procedures such as hoof trimming/shoeing, body clipping, sheath cleaning, first-time turnout and mane pulling. Dormosedan Gel can also keep your horse calm amid loud noises and other disturbances like fireworks.

According to Rachel Gardner, DVM, Diplomate ACVIM, “Dormosedan Gel is useful for husbandry procedures and can be administered without having a veterinarian present. Its oral gel formulation is convenient for horse owners.”

Dormosedan Gel is a safe, effective way to achieve a mild, standing sedation prior to routine procedures on occasions when your horses won’t cooperate. This oral gel sedative, approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, must be obtained through a veterinary prescription, but it can be safely administered by you through an easy-to-use, single-dose applicator.

The applicator looks and acts much like a deworming tube. However, unlike a dewormer, Dormosedan Gel is administered under the tongue for absorption through the oral mucosa. It will not work as intended if swallowed. It can help improve safety for your horse and surrounding animals, as well as for yourself and fellow handlers.

Follow these four simple steps to administer Dormosedan Gel:

  1. Put on disposable gloves and remove the syringe from the outer carton. While holding the plunger, turn the ring stop on the plunger until the ring can slide freely up and down the plunger.
  2. Position the ring in such a way that the side nearest the barrel is at the desired volume marking. Turn the ring to secure it in place at the amount prescribed by your veterinarian.
  3. Make sure the horse’s mouth contains no feed. Remove the cap from the tip of the syringe and save for cap replacement. Insert the syringe tip into the horse’s mouth from the side of the mouh, placing the syringe tip underneath the tongue at the level of the corner of the mouth. Depress the plunger until the ring stop contacts the barrel, depositing the product under the tongue.
  4. Take the syringe out of the horse’s mouth, recap the syringe and return it to the outer carton for disposal. Remove and discard gloves. Place the horse in a safe area while the sedation begins to take effect. Food and water should be removed during the four hours between initial administration and full recovery.

How does it work? The active ingredient, detomidine hydrochloride, is absorbed through the horse’s mucous membranes (moist membranes of the mouth). Dormosedan Gel takes about 40 minutes to take full effect, and it can provide standing sedation for 90 to 180 minutes, delivering consistent results for your horse each time it’s used.

If you have ever pulled a mane, cleaned a sheath or bandaged a hind leg of a horse that doesn't cooperate, you’ll appreciate this sedative as much as your horse will. Talk to your veterinarian about how Dormosedan Gel can make horse care easier and safer for you and your horse.


Do not use DORMOSEDAN GEL in horses with pre-existing atrioventricular (AV) or sinoatrial (SA) block, with severe coronary insufficiency, cerebrovascular disease, respiratory disease, or chronic renal failure. Do not use in anesthetized or sedated horses, or in conditions of shock, severe debilitation or stress due to extreme heat, cold, fatigue or high altitude. Handle gel-dosing syringes with caution to avoid direct exposure to skin, eyes or mouth. See full prescribing information at

All trademarks are the property of Zoetis Services LLC or a related company or a licensor unless otherwise noted. Dormosedan is a registered trademark of Orion Corporation; used by Zoetis under license. © 2023 Zoetis Services LLC. All rights reserved. DOR-00024