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  • Author or Editor: Gwendolyn L. Carroll x
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Objective—To determine analgesic efficacy and adverse effects of preemptive administration of meloxicam or butorphanol in cats undergoing onychectomy or onychectomy and neutering.

Design—Randomized controlled study.

Animals—64 female and 74 male cats that were 4 to 192 months old and weighed 1.09 to 7.05 kg (2.4 to 15.5 lb).

Procedure—Cats received meloxicam (0.3 mg/kg [0.14 mg/lb], SC) or butorphanol (0.4 mg/kg [0.18 mg/lb], SC) 15 minutes after premedication and prior to anesthesia. A single blinded observer measured physiologic variables, assigned analgesia and lameness scores, and withdrew blood samples for each cat at baseline and throughout the 24 hours after surgery. Rescue analgesia (butorphanol, 0.4 mg/kg, IV or SC) or administration of acepromazine (0.025 to 0.05 mg/kg [0.011 to 0.023 mg/lb], IV) was allowed.

Results—Meloxicam-treated cats were less lame and had lower pain scores. Cortisol concentration was higher at extubation and lower at 1, 5, and 12 hours in the meloxicam-treated cats. Fewer meloxicam-treated cats required rescue analgesia at 3, 5, 12, and 24 hours after extubation. General impression scores were excellent or good in 75% of meloxicam-treated cats and 44% of butorphanol-treated cats. There was no treatment effect on buccal bleeding time; PCV and BUN concentration decreased in both groups, and glucose concentration decreased in meloxicam-treated cats.

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Preoperative administration of meloxicam improved analgesia for 24 hours without clinically relevant adverse effects in cats that underwent onychectomy or onychectomy and neutering and provided safe, extended analgesia, compared with butorphanol. (J Am Vet Med Assoc 2005;226:913–919)

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in Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association


Objective—To evaluate disposition of butorphanol after IV and IM administration, effects on physiologic variables, and analgesic efficacy after IM administration in llamas.

Design—Nonrandomized crossover study.

Animals—6 healthy adult male llamas.

Procedure—Butorphanol (0.1 mg/kg [0.045 mg/lb] of body weight) was administered IM first and IV 1 month later. Blood samples were collected intermittently for 24 hours after administration. Plasma butorphanol versus time curves were subjected to pharmacokinetic analysis. Two months later, butorphanol (0.1 mg/kg) was administered IM, and physiologic variables and analgesia were assessed.

Results—Extrapolated peak plasma concentrations after IV and IM administration were 94.8 ± 53.1 and 34.3 ± 11.6 ng/ml, respectively. Volume of distribution at steady state after IV administration was 0.822 ± 0.329 L/kg per minute and systemic clearance was 0.050 ± 0.014 L/kg per minute. Slope of the elimination phase was significantly different, and elimination half-life was significantly shorter after IV (15.9 ± 9.1 minutes) versus IM (66.8 ± 13.5 minutes) administration. Bioavailability was 110 ± 49% after IM administration. Heart rate decreased and rectal temperature increased. Somatic analgesia was increased for various periods. Two llamas became transiently sedated, and 2 became transiently excited after butorphanol administration.

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Although IV administration of butorphanol results in a short halflife that may limit its analgesic usefulness, the elimination half-life of butorphanol administered IM is likely to be clinically useful. The relationship among plasma butorphanol concentration, time, and analgesia differed with the somatic analgesia model; clinically useful analgesia may occur at lower plasma concentrations than those reported here. (J Am Vet Med Assoc 2001;219:1263–1267)

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in Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association


Objective—To evaluate efficacy and safety of using transdermal fentanyl patches (TFP) for analgesia in cats undergoing onychectomy.

Design—Randomized controlled clinical trial.

Animals—45 client-owned cats weighing ≥ 2.7 kg (5.9 lb) undergoing onychectomy, onychectomy and ovariohysterectomy, or onychectomy and castration.

Procedure—Cats were randomly assigned to be treated with a TFP (25 µg/h) or butorphanol; TFP were applied a minimum of 4 hours before surgery (approx 8 hours prior to extubation). Rectal temperature, heart rate, respiratory rate, force applied by the forelimbs, and serum fentanyl concentration were measured, and temperament, recovery, degree of sedation, severity of pain, severity of lameness, and appetite were scored before and periodically for up to 40 hours after surgery.

Results—Cats treated with a TFP had better recovery scores at 2 of 4 evaluation times, lower sedation scores at 2 of 8 evaluation times, and lower pain scores at 6 of 8 evaluation times, compared with cats treated with butorphanol. Use of a pressure-sensitive mat to evaluate force applied by the forelimbs did not reveal any differences between groups but did reveal a significant difference between preoperative and postoperative values. Mean ± SD serum fentanyl concentrations were 1.56 ± 1.08, 4.85 ± 2.38, 4.87 ± 1.56, and 4.35 ± 2.97 ng/ml approximately 8, 24, 32, and 48 hours, respectively, after TFP placement.

Conclusion and Clinical Relevance—Results suggest that use of a TFP (25 µg/h) for postoperative analgesia in cats undergoing onychectomy with or without surgical sterilization is safe and effective. (J Am Vet Med Assoc 2000;217:1013–1020)

Full access
in Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association