Treatment and resolution of zilpaterol hydrochloride toxicity in a Quarter Horse gelding

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Summary

Zilpaterol hydrochloride is a β-2 agonist utilised as a repartitioning agent in cattle. In recent years, it has also been used illicitly among human athletes and body builders, and administered to racehorses. While there are numerous anecdotal reports of the effects of zilpaterol in horses, this is the first documented clinical case of equine zilpaterol toxicity. The horse presented with marked tachycardia, profuse sweating and generalised muscle fasciculations. Ultimately, treatment was initiated with propranolol and the horse made a complete recovery.

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