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Effects of orally administered gabapentin, tramadol, and meloxicam on ocular variables in healthy dogs

Angelie K. Shukla DVM, MSc1, Chantale L. Pinard DVM, MSc1, Bret L. Flynn BSc1, and Cathy A. Bauman DVM, PhD2
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  • 1 1Department of Clinical Studies, Ontario Veterinary College, University of Guelph, Guelph, ON N1G 2W1, Canada.
  • | 2 2Department of Population Medicine, Ontario Veterinary College, University of Guelph, Guelph, ON N1G 2W1, Canada.

Abstract

OBJECTIVE

To determine the effects of gabapentin, tramadol, and meloxicam on tear production, intraocular pressure (IOP), pupillary diameter, tear break-up time, and corneal touch threshold in healthy dogs when given orally for 3 days.

ANIMALS

9 healthy research Beagles.

PROCEDURES

A randomized, blinded, case-crossover study with a 6-sequence, 3-treatment, and 3-period design was performed. A 7-day acclimation period was followed by 3 treatment phases, each with a 3-day treatment period followed by a 7-day washout period for 3 different drugs. Block randomization was used to group dogs for treatments with drug A (gabapentin), B (tramadol), or C (meloxicam). Measurements of tear production, IOP, pupillary diameter, tear break-up time, and corneal touch threshold were performed on a schedule. A generalized mixed-effects linear regression model was created for each ocular variable, accounting for repeated measures within individuals.

RESULTS

Intraocular pressure was the only variable to have differed substantially between the first 5 and last 2 days of the acclimation period. When treatment phase, day, time of day, dog identification, baseline value, and eye were accounted for, the mean IOP was lower for dogs during treatment phases with gabapentin or tramadol, compared with meloxicam, but this difference was not considered clinically meaningful.

CONCLUSIONS AND CLINICAL RELEVANCE

Results indicated that a minimum 5-day acclimation period is necessary for IOP measurements to return to baseline in dogs. The statistically identified effect of gabapentin and tramadol on IOP in dogs of the present study warrants further investigation. It is possible that at higher dosages, or in dogs with glaucoma, this effect may become clinically significant.

Abstract

OBJECTIVE

To determine the effects of gabapentin, tramadol, and meloxicam on tear production, intraocular pressure (IOP), pupillary diameter, tear break-up time, and corneal touch threshold in healthy dogs when given orally for 3 days.

ANIMALS

9 healthy research Beagles.

PROCEDURES

A randomized, blinded, case-crossover study with a 6-sequence, 3-treatment, and 3-period design was performed. A 7-day acclimation period was followed by 3 treatment phases, each with a 3-day treatment period followed by a 7-day washout period for 3 different drugs. Block randomization was used to group dogs for treatments with drug A (gabapentin), B (tramadol), or C (meloxicam). Measurements of tear production, IOP, pupillary diameter, tear break-up time, and corneal touch threshold were performed on a schedule. A generalized mixed-effects linear regression model was created for each ocular variable, accounting for repeated measures within individuals.

RESULTS

Intraocular pressure was the only variable to have differed substantially between the first 5 and last 2 days of the acclimation period. When treatment phase, day, time of day, dog identification, baseline value, and eye were accounted for, the mean IOP was lower for dogs during treatment phases with gabapentin or tramadol, compared with meloxicam, but this difference was not considered clinically meaningful.

CONCLUSIONS AND CLINICAL RELEVANCE

Results indicated that a minimum 5-day acclimation period is necessary for IOP measurements to return to baseline in dogs. The statistically identified effect of gabapentin and tramadol on IOP in dogs of the present study warrants further investigation. It is possible that at higher dosages, or in dogs with glaucoma, this effect may become clinically significant.

Contributor Notes

Dr. Shukla's present address is The Veterinary Emergency Clinic South, Toronto, ON M4W 3C7, Canada.

Address correspondence to Dr. Shukla (angelie@uoguelph.ca).