To compare the efficacy and duration of action for perineural analgesia with liposomal bupivacaine (LB) versus bupivacaine hydrochloride (BHCl) in a sole-pressure induced model of forelimb lameness in horses.
6 healthy adult research horses.
In 1 randomly assigned forelimb, grade 3/5 lameness was induced by use of a sole-pressure lameness model. Objective lameness (vector sum [VS]) was determined with an inertial sensor system at 0, 1, 6, and 24 hours after lameness induction to evaluate the model. Mechanical nociceptive thresholds (MNTs) and objective lameness (VS and force platform kinetics) were recorded prior to and at 1, 6, 24, 48, and 72 hours after perineural anesthesia of the palmar nerves at the level of the proximal sesamoid bones with LB or BHCl in random order, with a 1-week washout period between crossover treatments. Data analysis was performed with mixed-model ANOVA.
When evaluating the lameness model, there was a decrease in lameness at 24 hours in at least 1 limb of each horse (7/12 limbs); thus, screw length was increased by 1 to 2 mm at each 24-hour interval to maintain lameness. Compared with results at baseline, horses treated with BHCl had significant improvements in median MNT and VS identified at only 1 hour after injection, whereas treatment with LB yielded significantly improved median MNT, VS score, and peak vertical force for up to 24 hours.
In this experimental model of forelimb lameness, LB provided longer analgesia when compared with BHCl and should be further investigated for treatment of pain in horses.