The aim of this randomised placebo-controlled, observer-blinded study was to evaluate the analgesic effects of botulinum toxin type A (BoNT-A) as an adjunct for postoperative pain control in dogs. Sixteen dogs undergoing bilateral radical mastectomy for treatment of mammary tumours were enrolled. Twenty-four hours before surgery, the subjects were distributed into two groups of eight dogs each: 7 iu/kg BoNT-A (BoNT-A) or saline (Control) was administered subcutaneously in each mammary gland. Following sedation with intramuscular 0.03 mg/kg acepromazine and 0.3 mg/kg morphine, anaesthesia was induced intravenously with 4 mg/kg propofol and maintained with isoflurane/O2. Postoperative analgesia was evaluated for 72 hours after extubation using the Visual Analogue Scale (VAS) and modified Glasgow Composite Measure Pain Scale (modified-GCMPS). Rescue analgesia was provided with intramuscular morphine (0.5 mg/kg). Data were analysed using analysis of variance, Tukey's test, Mann-Whitney U test and Friedman test (P<0.05). The pain scores were significantly lower in the BoNT-A than in the Control from 8 hours to 60 hours and from 12 hours to 60 hours after extubation, based on the VAS and modified-GCMPS, respectively. Rescue analgesia was required by significantly more dogs in the Control (7/8) compared with the BoNT-A (2/8) (P=0.022). Pre-emptive BoNT-A appears to be effective as an adjuvant for postoperative pain management in dogs undergoing bilateral radical mastectomy.
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