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To determine the efficacy and duration of effect for liposomal bupivacaine following perineural administration to the medial and lateral palmar digital nerves of horses.


9 nonlame mares.


For each horse, 2 mL of liposomal bupivacaine (13.3 mg/mL; total dose, 53.2 mg or approx 0.11 mg/kg) or sterile saline (0.9% NaCl) solution was injected adjacent to the medial and lateral palmar digital nerves at the level of the distal aspect of the proximal sesamoid bones of a randomly selected forelimb. Twenty-one days later, the opposite treatment was administered in the contralateral forelimb. A digital algometer was used to measure the mechanical nociceptive threshold (MNT) immediately before and at predetermined times for 48 hours after injection of each treatment. The mean MNT was compared between the 2 treatments at each measurement time.


The mean MNT for the liposomal bupivacaine-treated limbs was significantly greater (ie, the limb was less sensitive) than that for the saline-treated limbs between 30 minutes and 4 hours after treatment injection. Following liposomal bupivacaine administration, 1 horse developed mild swelling at the injection sites that resolved without treatment within 24 hours. No other adverse effects were observed.


Results suggested that liposomal bupivacaine is another option for perineural anesthesia in horses. Further research is necessary to determine the optimal dose and better elucidate the duration of effect for the drug when used for palmar digital nerve blocks in horses.

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in American Journal of Veterinary Research