Objective—To investigate the efficacy and safety of a low-volume, single-catheter, continuous peripheral neural blockade (CPNB) technique to locally deliver bupivacaine to alleviate signs of severe forelimb pain resulting from experimentally induced tendonitis in horses.
Design—Randomized controlled experimental trial.
Sample—14 horses and 5 forelimbs from equine cadavers.
Procedures—Horses underwent collagenase-induced superficial digital flexor tendonitis in the midmetacarpal region of 1 forelimb. To deliver analgesia, a closed-tip catheter was placed from lateral to medial, approximately 12 cm distal to the accessory carpal bone, between the suspensory ligament and accessory ligament of the deep digital flexor tendon. Success of catheter placement and anesthetic delivery was documented ex vivo in 5 forelimbs from equine cadavers. Effective analgesia in affected forelimbs of horses from continuous (n = 7) versus intermittent (7) local anesthetic delivery (intermittent peripheral neural blockade; IPNB) was compared over a 3-day period.
Results—Horses that received CPNB in the affected forelimb were less lame than horses that received IPNB. A lower proportion of CPNB-treated horses had behavioral and physiologic signs of pain, compared with IPNB-treated horses. Neither technique completely blocked the sensation of pain or resulted in swelling in the distal portion of the forelimb, vasodilation, or an increase in lameness. After removal, Staphylococcus aureus was cultured from 1 catheter tip.
Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—For short-term treatment, CPNB was more effective than IPNB for reduction in signs of severe pain in the distal aspect of the forelimb of horses.
As efforts to reduce the overpopulation and euthanasia of unwanted and unowned dogs and cats have increased, greater attention has been focused on spay-neuter programs throughout the United States. Because of the wide range of geographic and demographic needs, a wide variety of programs have been developed to increase delivery of spay-neuter services to targeted populations of animals, including stationary and mobile clinics, MASH-style operations, shelter services, feral cat programs, and services provided through private practitioners. In an effort to ensure a consistent level of care, the Association of Shelter Veterinarians convened a task force of veterinarians to develop veterinary medical care guidelines for spay-neuter programs. The guidelines consist of recommendations for preoperative care (eg, patient transport and housing, patient selection, client communication, record keeping, and medical considerations), anesthetic management (eg, equipment, monitoring, perioperative considerations, anesthetic protocols, and emergency preparedness), surgical care (eg, operating-area environment; surgical-pack preparation; patient preparation; surgeon preparation; surgical procedures for pediatric, juvenile, and adult patients; and identification of neutered animals), and postoperative care (eg, analgesia, recovery, and release). These guidelines are based on current principles of anesthesiology, critical care medicine, microbiology, and surgical practice, as determined from published evidence and expert opinion. They represent acceptable practices that are attainable in spay-neuter programs.