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LUMBOSACRAL epidural anaesthesia is a useful technique for controlling pain in many animal species. In small ruminants, it is indicated for surgical procedures caudal to the umbilicus (Skarda 1996), because it reduces the requirement for anaesthetic agents and general anaesthesia and provides residual analgesia for up to 24 hours.
The migration of drugs injected into the epidural space can be influenced by various factors such as the injection volume, rate of infusion, patency of intervertebral foramina, posture, vascular absorption and anatomical variations between species (Lee and others 2004a, Gorgi and others 2006). Experimental and clinical studies of the migration of solutions in the epidural space are therefore necessary to evaluate the pharmacodynamics of epidural anaesthetics used in different species. Studies of the cranial spread of methylene blue (MB) into the epidural space of goats, cattle, calves, pigs, dogs and cats have been reported (Johnson and others 1996, Lopez and others 1997, Lee and others 2001, 2004a, b, Gorgi and others 2006). However, to the authors' knowledge, no studies to evaluate epidural migration of MB in sheep are reported in the literature This short communication describes a study to investigate epidural migration of MB in live, anaesthetised sheep.
The study protocol was approved by …