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Use of indwelling epidural catheters in dogs for postoperative pain control at home

L. R. Phillips, K. P. McAbee, N. Stephenson, N. J. Stanke and others

EPIDURAL catheters can be used to administer postoperative pain relief in dogs, and can be used for either repeated dosing or constant rate infusion of analgesics. This American study aimed to assess the effectiveness of indwelling epidural catheters for providing pain relief in dogs in the home environment. It also looked at how easy owners felt they were to use.

Eighty-two client-owned dogs that had undergone surgery on a hindlimb and weighed over 9 kg were included in the study. Following induction of anaesthesia and before surgery, an epidural catheter was placed in all dogs. Patients were discharged with the epidural catheter in place and secured with an adhesive covering. Owners were given instructions on how to use the catheters to administer analgesics and were advised to contact their vet if their dog did not urinate within 24 hours. Owners were also told how to remove the catheters and were asked to fill out a questionnaire at their dog's follow-up examination.

Dogs received epidural morphine via the catheter at a dose of either 0.05 mg/kg or 0.01 mg/kg. Most of the …

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