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Comparison of perioperative analgesic efficacy between methadone and butorphanol in cats

Leon N. Warne BVMS1,2,3, Thierry Beths DMV, PhD1, Merete Holm DVM2, and Sébastien H. Bauquier DMV, DACVA3
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  • 1 Faculty of Veterinary Science, The University of Melbourne, Werribee, VIC 3030 Australia.
  • | 2 Merete Holm Veterinary Consultancy, Five Dock, NSW 2046, Australia.
  • | 3 Faculty of Veterinary Science, The University of Melbourne, Werribee, VIC 3030 Australia.

Abstract

Objective—To compare the perioperative analgesic effect between methadone and butorphanol in cats.

Design—Randomized controlled clinical trial.

Animals—22 healthy female domestic cats.

Procedures—Cats admitted for ovariohysterectomy were allocated to a butorphanol group (n = 10) or methadone group (12) and premedicated with butorphanol (0.4 mg/kg [0.18 mg/lb], SC) or methadone (0.6 mg/kg [0.27 mg/lb], SC), respectively, in combination with acepromazine (0.02 mg/kg [0.01 mg/lb], SC). Anesthesia was induced with propofol (IV) and maintained with isoflurane in oxygen. A multidimensional composite scale was used to conduct pain assessments prior to premedication and 5, 20, 60, 120, 180, 240, 300, and 360 minutes after extubation or until rescue analgesia was given. Groups were compared to evaluate isoflurane requirement, propofol requirement, pain scores, and requirement for rescue analgesia.

Results—Propofol and isoflurane requirements and preoperative pain scores were not different between groups. During recovery, dysphoria prevented pain evaluation at 5 minutes. Pain scores at 20 minutes were significantly lower in the methadone group, and 6 of 10 cats in the butorphanol group received rescue analgesia, making subsequent pain score comparisons inapplicable. After 6 hours, only 3 of 12 cats in the methadone group had received rescue analgesia.

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—In the present study, methadone appeared to be a better postoperative analgesic than butorphanol and provided effective analgesia for 6 hours following ovariohysterectomy in most cats. (J Am Vet Med Assoc 2013;243:844–850)

Abstract

Objective—To compare the perioperative analgesic effect between methadone and butorphanol in cats.

Design—Randomized controlled clinical trial.

Animals—22 healthy female domestic cats.

Procedures—Cats admitted for ovariohysterectomy were allocated to a butorphanol group (n = 10) or methadone group (12) and premedicated with butorphanol (0.4 mg/kg [0.18 mg/lb], SC) or methadone (0.6 mg/kg [0.27 mg/lb], SC), respectively, in combination with acepromazine (0.02 mg/kg [0.01 mg/lb], SC). Anesthesia was induced with propofol (IV) and maintained with isoflurane in oxygen. A multidimensional composite scale was used to conduct pain assessments prior to premedication and 5, 20, 60, 120, 180, 240, 300, and 360 minutes after extubation or until rescue analgesia was given. Groups were compared to evaluate isoflurane requirement, propofol requirement, pain scores, and requirement for rescue analgesia.

Results—Propofol and isoflurane requirements and preoperative pain scores were not different between groups. During recovery, dysphoria prevented pain evaluation at 5 minutes. Pain scores at 20 minutes were significantly lower in the methadone group, and 6 of 10 cats in the butorphanol group received rescue analgesia, making subsequent pain score comparisons inapplicable. After 6 hours, only 3 of 12 cats in the methadone group had received rescue analgesia.

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—In the present study, methadone appeared to be a better postoperative analgesic than butorphanol and provided effective analgesia for 6 hours following ovariohysterectomy in most cats. (J Am Vet Med Assoc 2013;243:844–850)

Contributor Notes

Supported by Troy Laboratories Pty Ltd, Glendenning, NSW 2761, Australia.

The authors thank Dionne Smith and Dr. Donna Scott for technical assistance and Garry Anderson for statistical assistance.

Address correspondence to Dr. Bauquier (Bauquier@unimelb.edu.au).