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To determine the dose effect of peri-neural liposomal bupivacaine (LB) in an induced forelimb lameness model.


12 clinically normal adult horses.


A randomized cross-over design was performed with 1 limb receiving saline and the other LB: low dose (6), high dose (6). Lameness was induced in 1 forelimb using a frog-pressure model. In the lame limb, peri-neural injection of the palmar nerves at the proximal sesamoid bones was performed using saline, low dose LB (0.25 mg/kg) (LDLB), or high dose LB (0.5mg/kg) (HDLB) in random order with a 1-week washout period between treatments. Distal limb swelling, mechanical nociceptive thresholds (MNT), and objective lameness data were collected before and up to 72 hours after peri-neural anesthesia. Data analysis was performed with mixed model ANOVA, equality of medians test, and Kaplan Meier survival analysis.


Compared with baseline, horses treated with LDLB and HDLB had improvements in MNT and lameness (P < .001). In the LDLB group, the median duration of analgesia was 4.5 hours (range = 3–6 hours) and the median return to lameness was 7 hours (range = 4–24 hours). In the HDLB group, the median duration of analgesia was 12 hours (range = 4–48 hours) and the median return to lameness was 9 hours (range = 3–48 hours). Mild to moderate swelling was identified in 11/12 (92%) LB limbs.


Both LDLB and HDLB resulted in loss of skin sensation and improvement of lameness. There was high variability among horses in duration of action for both doses.

Open access
in American Journal of Veterinary Research