Objective—To evaluate signs of postoperative pain and complications after forelimb onychectomy in cats receiving buprenorphine alone or with bupivacaine administered as a 4-point regional nerve block.
Design—Prospective, randomized, double-blind clinical trial.
Procedure—All cats received buprenorphine (0.01 mg/kg [0.004 mg/lb], IM) preoperatively. One forelimb of each cat also received bupivacaine (1 mg/kg [0.45 mg/lb] of a 0.75% solution) administered as a 4-point regional nerve block. After onychectomy, discomfort (lameness, foot reaction, and pain) scores were evaluated by 2 experienced observers 2, 4, 6, 8, 24, and 168 hours postoperatively. Complication (hemorrhage, swelling, and infection) scores were evaluated 24 and 168 hours postoperatively. Surgeries were performed by 1 experienced veterinary surgeon. Rescue analgesia was provided if needed.
Results—6 cats required rescue analgesia postoperatively. There was no difference in discomfort or complication scores between control limbs and limbs in which a nerve block was administered. Additionally, there was no difference in discomfort and complication scores between cats that did or did not require rescue analgesia.
Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Bupivacaine administered as a 4-point regional nerve block in addition to a systemic analgesic did not decrease discomfort or complication scores in cats undergoing forelimb onychectomy.