Objective—To compare onset time and quality of sedation achieved by IM injection of hydromorphone and dexmedetomidine into either the semimembranosus, cervical, gluteal, or lumbar muscle groups in dogs.
Design—Prospective, randomized, crossover study.
Procedures—Each dog was assigned to receive each treatment in random order, and at least 1 week elapsed between treatments. Dogs were sedated with dexmedetomidine and hydromorphone combined and injected IM into the assigned muscle group. An observer unaware of group assignments assessed physiologic variables every 5 minutes for 30 minutes, and a videographic recording was obtained. Recordings were evaluated by 16 individuals who were unaware of group assignments; these reviewers assessed time to onset of sedation and assigned a sedation score to each dog every 5 minutes.
Results—Resting pulse and respiratory rates did not differ among injection site groups. The semimembranosus site had a significantly higher sedation score than all other sites, and the cervical site had a significantly higher sedation score than the lumbar and gluteal sites. The semimembranosus and cervical sites had significantly shorter time to onset of sedation than did the gluteal and lumbar sites.
Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—When the combination of dexmedetomidine and hydromorphone was used to induce sedation in dogs, rapid and profound sedation was achieved with IM injection into the semimembranosus muscle.
Case Description—A 7-year-old 23-kg (50.6-lb) spayed female Border Collie with a history of heartworm disease was evaluated for respiratory distress.
Clinical Findings—Computed tomography of the thorax revealed possible pulmonary bullae or blebs, and on the basis of these findings, a tentative diagnosis of bullous emphysema was made.
Treatment and Outcome—Exploratory median sternotomy revealed gross pathological lesions in the right caudal lung lobe; the most peripheral portion appeared discolored (pale pink), and a clear line of demarcation was observed. Upon excision of the affected lung lobe, a worm segment was noticed both on the remaining stump of the lung lobe in the dog and in the removed lobe. At this time, the dog had an anaphylactoid reaction. The reaction was successfully treated with fluid therapy, antihistamines, and corticosteroids. Lung lobectomy of the right caudal lobe resulted in clinical resolution of the bilateral pneumothorax. However, during the postoperative period, the dog developed a hemothorax and was returned to surgery. As no obvious cause for the hemothorax was seen at the second surgery, the dog was treated for a potential coagulopathy with fresh frozen plasma, which provided clinical resolution of the hemothorax. Parasitological examination of the worm segment confirmed a Dirofilaria immitis infection. The dog was discharged 5 days after surgery and treated with doxycycline for 30 days and monthly administration of heartworm preventative was prescribed.
Clinical Relevance—Heartworm infection should be a differential diagnosis in dogs with spontaneous pneumothorax. Anaphylactoid reactions associated with accidental dissection of adult heartworms should be managed with treatment aimed at cardiovascular stabilization.
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.
Case Description—A healthy 6-year-old 28.5-kg (62.7-lb) spayed female Boxer undergoing surgical repair of a ruptured cranial cruciate ligament was inadvertently administered an overdose of morphine (1.3 mg/kg [0.59 mg/lb]) via subarachnoid injection.
Clinical Findings—50 minutes after administration of the overdose, mild multifocal myoclonic contractions became apparent at the level of the tail; the contractions migrated cranially and progressively increased in intensity and frequency during completion of the surgery.
Treatment and Outcome—The myoclonic contractions were refractory to treatment with midazolam, naloxone, phenobarbital, and pentobarbital; only atracurium (0.1 mg/kg [0.045 mg/lb], IV) was effective in controlling the movements. The dog developed hypertension, dysphoria, hyperthermia, and hypercapnia. The dog remained anesthetized and ventilated mechanically; treatments included continuous rate IV infusions of propofol (1 mg/kg/h [0.45 mg/lb/h]), diazepam (0.25 mg/kg/h [0.11 mg/lb/h]), atracurium (0.1 to 0.3 mg/kg/h [0.045 to 0.14 mg/lb/h]), and naloxone (0.02 mg/kg/h [0.009 mg/lb/h]). Twenty-two hours after the overdose, the myoclonus was no longer present, and the dog was able to ventilate without mechanical assistance. The dog remained sedated until 60 hours after the overdose, at which time its mentation improved, including recognition of caregivers and response to voice commands. No neurologic abnormalities were detectable at discharge (approx 68 hours after the overdose) or at a recheck evaluation 1 week later.
Clinical Relevance—Although intrathecal administration of an overdose of morphine can be associated with major and potentially fatal complications, it is possible that affected dogs can completely recover with immediate treatment and extensive supportive care.
Objective—To identify and evaluate coping strategies advocated by experienced animal shelter workers who directly engaged in euthanizing animals.
Sample Population—Animal shelters across the United States in which euthanasia was conducted (5 to 100 employees/shelter).
Procedures—With the assistance of experts associated with the Humane Society of the United States, the authors identified 88 animal shelters throughout the United States in which animal euthanasia was actively conducted and for which contact information regarding the shelter director was available. Staff at 62 animal shelters agreed to participate in the survey. Survey packets were mailed to the 62 shelter directors, who then distributed them to employees. The survey included questions regarding respondent age, level of education, and role and asked those directly involved in the euthanasia of animals to provide advice on strategies for new euthanasia technicians to deal with the related stress. Employees completed the survey and returned it by mail. Content analysis techniques were used to summarize survey responses.
Results—Coping strategies suggested by 242 euthanasia technicians were summarized into 26 distinct coping recommendations in 8 categories: competence or skills strategies, euthanasia behavioral strategies, cognitive or self-talk strategies, emotional regulation strategies, separation strategies, get-help strategies, seek long-term solution strategies, and withdrawal strategies.
Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Euthanizing animals is a major stressor for many animal shelter workers. Information regarding the coping strategies identified in this study may be useful for training new euthanasia technicians.
OBJECTIVE To evaluate agreement among diplomates of the American College of Veterinary Anesthesia and Analgesia for scores determined by use of a simple descriptive scale (SDS) or a composite grading scale (CGS) for quality of recovery of horses from anesthesia and to investigate use of 3-axis accelerometry (3AA) for objective evaluation of recovery.
ANIMALS 12 healthy adult horses.
PROCEDURES Horses were fitted with a 3AA device and then were anesthetized. Eight diplomates evaluated recovery by use of an SDS, and 7 other diplomates evaluated recovery by use of a CGS. Agreement was tested with κ and AC1 statistics for the SDS and an ANOVA for the CGS. A library of mathematical models was used to map 3AA data against CGS scores.
RESULTS Agreement among diplomates using the SDS was slight (κ = 0.19; AC1 = 0.22). The CGS scores differed significantly among diplomates. Best fit of 3AA data against CGS scores yielded the following equation: RS = 9.998 × SG0.633 × ∑UG0.174, where RS is a horse's recovery score determined with 3AA, SG is acceleration of the successful attempt to stand, and ∑UG is the sum of accelerations of unsuccessful attempts to stand.
CONCLUSIONS AND CLINICAL RELEVANCE Subjective scoring of recovery of horses from anesthesia resulted in poor agreement among diplomates. Subjective scoring may lead to differences in conclusions about recovery quality; thus, there is a need for an objective scoring method. The 3AA system removed subjective bias in evaluations of recovery of horses and warrants further study.