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Abstract

Objective

To identify clinical indicators that may help identify postoperative pain in cats after ovariohysterectomy.

Animals

Healthy, laboratory animal source cats.

Procedure

Clinical indicators of pain were identified, and relief from pain in response to butorphanol was studied in 5 groups of cats. 10 cats had 1 hour of general anesthesia only, followed by recovery without additional medication. 10 cats had general anesthesia and ovariohysterectomy, followed by recovery without additional medication. 10 cats had general anesthesia, ovariohysterectomy, and postoperative administration of 0.1 mg of butorphanol/kg of body weight. Another 10 cats had general anesthesia, ovariohysterectomy, and postoperative administration of 0.3 mg butorphanol/kg. 10 cats received 0.1 mg of butorphanol/kg, IM, only. Samples and recorded data were obtained before, during, and after the anesthesia period. Clinical variables measured included heart rate, blood pressure, respiratory rate, rectal temperature, PCV, and blood glucose concentration. Results were compared with changes in norepinephrine, epinephrine, and cortisol concentrations.

Results

Cats that did not receive analgesics had higher cortisol concentration than did cats without surgery and cats that received butorphanol after surgery. Systolic blood pressure measured by ultrasonic Doppler was found to be predictive of cortisol concentration, using a multiple linear regression model.

Conclusions

Cortisol concentration increased in response to surgical stress and pain, and this increase was diminished by use of butorphanol.

Clinical Relevance

Systolic blood pressure was the best clinical predictor of postoperative pain. (Am J Vet Res 1996;209:1674–1678)

Free access
in American Journal of Veterinary Research

Abstract

Objective

To identify clinical variables that indicate postoperative pain in cats after ovariohysterectomy in a veterinary hospital setting.

Animals

40 cats.

Procedure

Cats were anesthetized and ovariohysterectomized by senior veterinary students. Butorphanol (0.1 mg/kg [n = 20] or 0.3 mg/kg [20] of body weight) was administered IM after surgery. Blood samples were obtained before, during, and after the anesthestic period for measurements of PCV and blood glucose and cortisol concentrations. Clinical variables measured included heart rate, systolic blood pressure, respiratory rate, and rectal temperature. Data for these variables were compared with changes in cortisol concentrations and with similar data—which was used as historical control data— obtained from 20 cats in another study (10 that had been ovariohysterectomized but had not received butorphanol and 10 that had only been anesthetized).

Results

Surgical durations were longer in this study, and cats had higher cortisol concentrations, compared with historical control cats. Objective clinical variables did not consistently correlate with changes in cortisol concentration.

Conclusions

Cortisol concentration increased in response to surgical stress and pain. This response was greater in cats in which duration of surgery was longer.

Clinical Relevance

The objective clinical variables evaluated in this study were not consistent indicators of pain in an uncontrolled, clinical situation. (Am J Vet Res 1999;60:432-436)

Free access
in American Journal of Veterinary Research