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Effects of maropitant, acepromazine, and electroacupuncture on vomiting associated with administration of morphine in dogs

Ronald B. Koh DVM, MS1, Natalie Isaza DVM2, Huisheng Xie DVM, PhD3, Kirsten Cooke DVM4, and Sheilah A. Robertson DVM, PhD5
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  • 1 Department of Large Animal Clinical Sciences, College of Veterinary Medicine, University of Florida, Gainesville, FL 32610.
  • | 2 Small Animal Clinical Sciences, College of Veterinary Medicine, University of Florida, Gainesville, FL 32610.
  • | 3 Small Animal Clinical Sciences, College of Veterinary Medicine, University of Florida, Gainesville, FL 32610.
  • | 4 Small Animal Clinical Sciences, College of Veterinary Medicine, University of Florida, Gainesville, FL 32610.
  • | 5 Department of Large Animal Clinical Sciences, College of Veterinary Medicine, University of Florida, Gainesville, FL 32610.

Abstract

Objective—To evaluate effects of maropitant, acepromazine, and electroacupuncture on morphine-related signs of nausea and vomiting in dogs and assess sedative effects of the treatments.

Design—Randomized controlled clinical trial.

Animals—222 dogs.

Procedures—Dogs received 1 of 6 treatments: injection of saline (0.9% NaCl) solution, maropitant citrate, or acepromazine maleate or electroacupuncture treatment at 1 acupoint, 5 acupoints, or a sham acupoint. Morphine was administered after 20 minutes of electroacupuncture treatment or 20 minutes after injectable treatment. Vomiting and retching events and signs of nausea and sedation were recorded.

Results—Incidence of vomiting and retching was significantly lower in the maropitant (14/37 [37.8%]) group than in the saline solution (28/37 [75.7%]) and sham-acupoint electroacupuncture (32/37 [86.5%]) groups. The number of vomiting and retching events in the maropitant (21), acepromazine (38), 1-acupoint (35), and 5-acupoint (34) groups was significantly lower than in the saline solution (88) and sham-acupoint electroacupuncture (109) groups. Incidence of signs of nausea was significantly lower in the acepromazine group (3/37 [8.1%]) than in the sham-acupoint group (15/37 [40.5%]). Mean nausea scores for the saline solution, maropitant, and sham-acupoint electroacupuncture groups increased significantly after morphine administration, whereas those for the acepromazine, 1-acupoint electroacupuncture, and 5-acupoint electroacupuncture groups did not. Mean sedation scores after morphine administration were significantly higher in dogs that received acepromazine than in dogs that received saline solution, maropitant, and sham-acupoint electroacupuncture treatment.

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Maropitant treatment was associated with a lower incidence of vomiting and retching, compared with control treatments, and acepromazine and electroacupuncture appeared to prevent an increase in severity of nausea following morphine administration in dogs.

Abstract

Objective—To evaluate effects of maropitant, acepromazine, and electroacupuncture on morphine-related signs of nausea and vomiting in dogs and assess sedative effects of the treatments.

Design—Randomized controlled clinical trial.

Animals—222 dogs.

Procedures—Dogs received 1 of 6 treatments: injection of saline (0.9% NaCl) solution, maropitant citrate, or acepromazine maleate or electroacupuncture treatment at 1 acupoint, 5 acupoints, or a sham acupoint. Morphine was administered after 20 minutes of electroacupuncture treatment or 20 minutes after injectable treatment. Vomiting and retching events and signs of nausea and sedation were recorded.

Results—Incidence of vomiting and retching was significantly lower in the maropitant (14/37 [37.8%]) group than in the saline solution (28/37 [75.7%]) and sham-acupoint electroacupuncture (32/37 [86.5%]) groups. The number of vomiting and retching events in the maropitant (21), acepromazine (38), 1-acupoint (35), and 5-acupoint (34) groups was significantly lower than in the saline solution (88) and sham-acupoint electroacupuncture (109) groups. Incidence of signs of nausea was significantly lower in the acepromazine group (3/37 [8.1%]) than in the sham-acupoint group (15/37 [40.5%]). Mean nausea scores for the saline solution, maropitant, and sham-acupoint electroacupuncture groups increased significantly after morphine administration, whereas those for the acepromazine, 1-acupoint electroacupuncture, and 5-acupoint electroacupuncture groups did not. Mean sedation scores after morphine administration were significantly higher in dogs that received acepromazine than in dogs that received saline solution, maropitant, and sham-acupoint electroacupuncture treatment.

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Maropitant treatment was associated with a lower incidence of vomiting and retching, compared with control treatments, and acepromazine and electroacupuncture appeared to prevent an increase in severity of nausea following morphine administration in dogs.

Contributor Notes

Dr. Koh's present address is Department of Veterinary Clinical Sciences, School of Veterinary Medicine, Louisiana State University, Baton Rouge, LA 70803.

This manuscript represents a thesis submitted by Dr. Koh to the University of Florida Department of Large Animal Clinical Sciences as partial fulfillment of the requirements for a Master of Science degree.

Supported in part by a grant from the Association of American Traditional Chinese Veterinary Medicine.

Presented in abstract form at the 2013 American College of Veterinary Internal Medicine Forum, Seattle, June 2012.

The authors thank Dr. Joe Hauptman for assistance with statistical analyses.

Address correspondence to Dr. Koh (rkoh@lsu.edu).