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 relating to dogs. The veterinary surgeons considered that pain was a consequence of all the surgical procedures specified, but there were differences in their treatment of pain. Some veterinarians considered that a degree of pain was necessary postoperatively to prevent excessive activity. In general, women and more recent graduates assigned higher pain scores to the procedures and were more likely to treat the pain with analgesics. A significant number of veterinarians consider the use of opiates or non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs before surgical procedures, but relatively few appear to use combinations of different classes of analgesics either before or after operations.
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