Tiletamine/Zolazepam (Telazol®) for Dogs and Cats

Tiletamine/Zolazepam (Telazol®) for Dogs and Cats


Overview of Tiletamine/Zolazepam (Telazol®) for Dogs and Cats

  • Telazol is a proprietary combination of two drugs, a dissociative anesthetic drug, tiletamine, with the benzodiazepine anxiolytic drug, zolazepam. Commonly known as Telazol®, it is used in dogs and cats as a restraint, anesthesia and sedation. 
  • Tiletamine belongs to a class of drugs known as dissociative hypnotics, and is similar to phencyclidine (PCP). It works by disrupting the central nervous system and induces a cataleptic state. This drug does not provide muscle relaxation. Zolazepam alone provides only subtle evidence of its presence, unless high doses are given. However, when combined with tiletamine, a composite state of immobility, muscle relaxation, freedom from reflex movement, and analgesia prevails. This state provides conditions suitable for various diagnostic and therapeutic interventions, as well as for certain types of surgery.
  • Telazol serves as a rapidly acting general anesthetic that provides significant pain relief, immobility, and muscle relaxation.
  • After intramuscular injection, the effects of Telazol are seen within 10 minutes. The effects after intravenous injection are seen within 1 minute.
  • Due to its potential for abuse and misuse, Telazol is considered a controlled substance in some states.
  • Telazol is a prescription drug and can only be obtained from a veterinarian or by prescription from a veterinarian.
  • Brand Names or Other Names of Telazol

  • This drug is registered for use in dogs and cats.
  • Human formulations: None
  • Veterinary formulations: Telazol® (Fort Dodge)
  • Uses of Telazol for Dogs and Cats

  • In cats, telazol is used for restraint as well as anesthesia.
  • In other species, telazol is used for sedation before anesthesia or on its own as an injectable anesthetic.
  • Precautions and Side Effects

  • While generally safe and effective when prescribed by a veterinarian, Telazol may cause appreciable side effects in some animals.
  • Telazol should not be used in animals with known hypersensitivity or allergy to the drug.
  • Telazol should not be used in animals with severe heart disease, lung disease, or kidney disease.
  • Since Telazol crosses the placenta and will cause fetal depression, it is not recommended for use in cesarean section.
  • Telazol may interact with other medications. Consult with your veterinarian to determine if other drugs your pet is receiving could interact with Telazol. Such drugs include chloramphenicol, narcotics, diazepam, and acepromazine.
  • More so than with other anesthetics, , the eyes will remain open and unable to blink after administration of Telazol. To prevent drying or damage to the surface of the eyes, lubrication is highly recommended.
  • Intramuscular injection of Telazol is painful.
  • How Telazol is Supplied

  • Telazol is available in powder form as a 1:1 mixture with the benzodiazepine, zolazepam (250 mg of each). When reconstituted with 5mL of sterile diluent, the solution contains 50 mg/mL of each component, i.e. 100 mg/mL of the combination.
  • Dosing Information of Telazol for Dogs and Cats

  • No medication should be administered without first consulting your veterinarian. Telazol is rarely, if ever, dispensed to owners to be administered at home.
  • In dogs, the recommended Telazol dose spans 3 to 6.5 mg per pound (6 to 13 mg/kg) intramuscular, intravenous, or subcutaneous. Dose rates at the lower end of this scale are used for minor diagnostic procedures. Doses at the higher end of the scale (10 to 13 mg/kg) are employed to facilitate minor surgical procedures.
  • In cats, for minor treatments, Telazol is dosed at 5 to 6 mg per pound (10 to 12 mg/kg) intramuscular or subcutaneous. A dose range of 1 to 2.5 mg per pound (2 to 5 mg/kg) has been recommended for intravenous administration. For major surgery, such as a cat spay, Telazol is dosed at 7 to 8 mg per pound (14 to 16 mg/kg) intramuscular.
  • The dosage of Telazol should be adjusted by your veterinarian according to the animal’s physical status. Older and debilitated animals will require lower dosages.
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    Autonomic Nervous System Drugs; Anesthetics; Analgesics



    Neurology & Nervous System disorders


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