Thirty-two dogs undergoing operations to repair a torn cranial cruciate ligament or a fractured long bone were randomly allocated to one of two treatment groups in a study on postoperative pain. Sixteen of the dogs were given 4 mg/kg carprofen and the other 16 were given 0˙2 mg/kg meloxicam subcutaneously before the operation. The signs of pain shown by the animals were assessed for 24 hours on a visual analogue scale, a discontinuous scoring system, and a score based on five behavioural and physiological variables. The dogs' heart and respiratory rates and their mean arterial blood pressures were also measured non-invasively at each assessment. Blood samples were taken before the surgery and 24 hours after it, and the concentrations of urea and creatinine were measured in plasma. Both drugs were effective in relieving the signs of pain for up to 24 hours in all the dogs. There were no significant changes in the concentrations of urea and creatinine, and no adverse effects were reported during the postoperative period.
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