In March 1996, a questionnaire was sent to 2000 veterinary surgeons primarily involved in small animal practice to assess their attitudes to perioperative analgesic therapy in dogs, cats and other small mammals. This paper is concerned only with the data relevant to cats, analgesic monitoring, continuing education and, to a limited extent, small mammals. The veterinary surgeons considered that pain was a consequence of all the surgical procedures specified. Analgesics were administered by 94 per cent of them to cats undergoing orthopaedic surgery, by 72 per cent for the repair of a ruptured diaphragm, by 56 per cent for laparotomy, by 26 per cent for ovariohysterectomy, by 16 per cent for castration and by 39 per cent for dental work. Women and more recent graduates assigned higher pain scores to the procedures, and there was a significant correlation between the pain score and the number of veterinary surgeons who routinely gave analgesic, resulting in women and more recent graduates being more likely to treat the pain with analgesics. The majority of the veterinarians performed surgery on small mammals, but on average only 22 per cent gave perioperative analgesics, and the number giving analgesics varied with the species of small mammal. The perioperative monitoring of animals was largely delegated to nursing staff
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