Objective—To compare preoperative administration of meloxicam and butorphanol to perioperative administration of butorphanol alone for control of postoperative signs of pain in dogs.
Animals—40 client-owned dogs scheduled for surgical repair of a cranial cruciate ligament rupture.
Procedure—Group-1 dogs received butorphanol (0.2 mg/kg, IV) and meloxicam (0.2 mg/kg, IV) just prior to surgery. Group-2 dogs received butorphanol just prior to surgery (0.2 mg/kg, IV) and at incision closure (0.1 mg/kg, IV). Pain assessment began 1 to 2 hours before surgery and from extubation until 24 hours after surgery by obtaining the following measurements: the visual analog scale (VAS) score, cumulative pain score (CPS), adjusted cumulative pain score, modified cumulative pain score, and the adjusted modified cumulative pain score (AMCPS). Serum cortisol concentration was measured between 12 to 24 and between 1 to 2 hours prior to surgery, and at 30 minutes, and 1, 2, 4, 8, 18, and 24 hours after extubation.
Results—No significant differences between treatment groups were observed in CPS or VAS score. At 8, 9, 10, and 11 hours after extubation, meloxicambutorphanol- treated dogs had a significantly lower AMCPS, compared with butorphanol-alone-treated dogs. Total serum cortisol concentration (area under the curve) during the measurement period was significantly lower in meloxicam-butorphanol-treated dogs, compared with butorphanol-alone treated dogs.
Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Preoperative single dose administration of meloxicam-butorphanol is equivalent to or slightly better than the administration of 2 perioperative doses of butorphanol for the control of postoperative signs of pain in dogs. (Am J Vet Res 2002;63:1557–1563)