Objective—To compare the effectiveness of preoperative
PO and SC administration of buprenorphine and
meloxicam for prevention of postoperative pain-associated
behaviors in cats undergoing ovariohysterectomy.
Design—Randomized controlled study.
Animals—51 female cats (4 to 60 months old; weight
range, 1.41 to 4.73 kg [3.1 to 10.4 lb]).
Procedure—Cats received 1 of 5 treatments at the time
of anesthetic induction: buprenorphine PO (0.01 mg/kg
[0.0045 mg/lb]; n = 10), buprenorphine SC (0.01 mg/kg;
10), meloxicam SC (0.3 mg/kg [0.14 mg/lb]; 10), meloxicam
PO (0.3 mg/kg; 10), or 0.3 mL of sterile saline (0.9%
NaCl) solution SC (control group; 11). Sedation scores
and visual analog scale and interactive visual analog
scale (IVAS) pain-associated behavior scores were
assigned to each cat 2 hours before and at intervals until
20 hours after surgery.
Results—Cats receiving meloxicam PO or SC had
significantly lower IVAS scores (2.91 and 2.02,
respectively), compared with IVAS scores for cats
receiving buprenorphine PO (7.55). Pain-associated
behavior scores for cats administered buprenorphine
or meloxicam PO or SC preoperatively did not differ
significantly from control group scores. Rescue analgesia
was not required by any of the cats receiving
meloxicam, whereas 3 of 10 cats receiving buprenorphine
PO, 2 of 10 cats receiving buprenorphine SC,
and 1 of 11 cats receiving the control treatment
required rescue analgesia.
Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—On the basis
of pain-associated behavior scores, cats receiving
meloxicam PO or SC before ovariohysterectomy
appeared to have less pain after surgery than those
receiving buprenorphine PO preoperatively. (J Am Vet Med Assoc 2005;227:1937–1944)