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Evaluation of the perioperative analgesic efficacy of buprenorphine, compared with butorphanol, in cats

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  • 1 Faculty of Veterinary Science, University of Melbourne, Werribee, VIC 3030, Australia
  • | 2 Faculty of Veterinary Science, University of Melbourne, Werribee, VIC 3030, Australia
  • | 3 Merete Holm Veterinary Consultancy, 19 Henry Lawson Ave, Abbotsford, NSW 2046, Australia
  • | 4 Faculty of Veterinary Science, University of Melbourne, Werribee, VIC 3030, Australia
  • | 5 Faculty of Veterinary Science, University of Melbourne, Werribee, VIC 3030, Australia

Abstract

Objective—To compare the analgesic effects of buprenorphine and butorphanol in domestic cats.

Design—2-phase positive-controlled randomized masked clinical trial.

Animals—39 healthy female cats (10 in phase 1 and 29 in phase 2).

Procedures—Cats admitted for ovariohysterectomy received buprenorphine (4 in phase 1; 14 in phase 2) or butorphanol (6 in phase 1; 15 in phase 2). In phase 1, cats were premedicated with buprenorphine (0.02 mg/kg [0.009 mg/lb], IM) or butorphanol (0.4 mg/kg [0.18 mg/lb], IM), in combination with medetomidine. Anesthesia was induced with propofol (IV) and maintained with isoflurane in oxygen. After extubation, medetomidine was antagonized with atipamezole. A validated multidimensional composite scale was used to assess signs of pain after surgery starting 20 minutes after extubation and continuing for up to 360 minutes, and pain score comparisons were made between the 2 groups. Phase 2 proceeded similar to phase 1 with the following addition: during wound closure, cats from the butorphanol and buprenorphine groups received butorphanol (0.4 mg/kg, IM) or buprenorphine (0.02 mg/kg, IM), respectively.

Results—Phase 1 of the study was stopped after 10 cats were ovariohysterectomized because 9 of 10 cats required rescue analgesia at the first evaluation. In phase 2, at the first pain evaluation, pain scores from the buprenorphine group were lower, and all cats from the butorphanol group required rescue analgesia. None of the cats from the buprenorphine group required rescue analgesia at any time.

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Buprenorphine (0.02 mg/kg, IM) given before surgery and during wound closure provided adequate analgesia for 6 hours following ovariohysterectomy in cats, whereas butorphanol did not.

Abstract

Objective—To compare the analgesic effects of buprenorphine and butorphanol in domestic cats.

Design—2-phase positive-controlled randomized masked clinical trial.

Animals—39 healthy female cats (10 in phase 1 and 29 in phase 2).

Procedures—Cats admitted for ovariohysterectomy received buprenorphine (4 in phase 1; 14 in phase 2) or butorphanol (6 in phase 1; 15 in phase 2). In phase 1, cats were premedicated with buprenorphine (0.02 mg/kg [0.009 mg/lb], IM) or butorphanol (0.4 mg/kg [0.18 mg/lb], IM), in combination with medetomidine. Anesthesia was induced with propofol (IV) and maintained with isoflurane in oxygen. After extubation, medetomidine was antagonized with atipamezole. A validated multidimensional composite scale was used to assess signs of pain after surgery starting 20 minutes after extubation and continuing for up to 360 minutes, and pain score comparisons were made between the 2 groups. Phase 2 proceeded similar to phase 1 with the following addition: during wound closure, cats from the butorphanol and buprenorphine groups received butorphanol (0.4 mg/kg, IM) or buprenorphine (0.02 mg/kg, IM), respectively.

Results—Phase 1 of the study was stopped after 10 cats were ovariohysterectomized because 9 of 10 cats required rescue analgesia at the first evaluation. In phase 2, at the first pain evaluation, pain scores from the buprenorphine group were lower, and all cats from the butorphanol group required rescue analgesia. None of the cats from the buprenorphine group required rescue analgesia at any time.

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Buprenorphine (0.02 mg/kg, IM) given before surgery and during wound closure provided adequate analgesia for 6 hours following ovariohysterectomy in cats, whereas butorphanol did not.

Contributor Notes

Supported by Troy Laboratories (Australia) Pty Ltd.

The authors thank Dr. Donna Scott and Renae Kerr for technical assistance and Garry Anderson for statistical assistance.

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