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Evaluation of the analgesic effect of lidocaine and bupivacaine used to provide a brachial plexus block for forelimb surgery in 10 dogs
  1. S. Wenger, DVM, DipECVA1,
  2. Y. Moens, DVM, PhD, DipECVA1,
  3. N. Jäggin, DVM, DipECVA1 and
  4. U. Schatzmann, DVM, DipECVA1
  1. 1Department for Clinical Veterinary Medicine, Division of Anaesthesiology, University of Berne, CH 3012 Berne, Switzerland


Twenty adult dogs weighing between 1·4 and 53·5 kg and aged between six months and nine years were anaesthetised and the brachial plexus was localised with the aid of a nerve stimulator. In 10 of the dogs a brachial plexus block was induced with a mixture of lidocaine and bupivacaine and the other 10 each received 0·25 ml/kg saline as a control. The end-tidal isoflurane concentration was maintained between 1·3 and 1·4 per cent during surgery for carpal arthrodesis or a fracture of the radius or ulna. Acute heart rate or blood pressure increases of 20 per cent or more were treated with 1 µg/kg fentanyl intravenously. Postoperatively, signs of pain were scored by a single blinded observer at hourly intervals until eight hours after the block had been induced, on a scale from 0 to 18. Dogs with pain scores above 5 received 0·1 to 0·2 mg/kg methadone intravenously, repeated as necessary. During surgery the control dogs received significantly more fentanyl (median 0·05 µg/kg/minute, range 0·02 to 0·20 µg/kg/minute) than the group given local anaesthetic (median 0 µg/kg/minute, range 0 to 0·02 µg/kg/minute). Postoperatively, the control group required significantly more methadone (median 0·2 mg/kg, range 0·1 to 1 mg/kg) than the treated group (median 0 mg/kg, range 0 to 0·13 mg/kg).

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