Comparison between meloxicam and transdermally administered fentanyl for treatment of postoperative pain in dogs undergoing osteotomy of the tibia and fibula and placement of a uniplanar external distraction device

M. Pilar Lafuente Department of Animal Medicine and Surgery, College of Veterinary Medicine, Autonomous University of Barcelona, 08193 Bellaterra, Barcelona, Spain.
present address is the Department of Veterinary Clinical Sciences, College of Veterinary Medicine, Washington State University, Pullman, WA 99164.

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Jordi Franch Department of Animal Medicine and Surgery, College of Veterinary Medicine, Autonomous University of Barcelona, 08193 Bellaterra, Barcelona, Spain.

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Ignacio Durall Department of Animal Medicine and Surgery, College of Veterinary Medicine, Autonomous University of Barcelona, 08193 Bellaterra, Barcelona, Spain.

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M. Carmen Díaz-Bertrana Department of Animal Medicine and Surgery, College of Veterinary Medicine, Autonomous University of Barcelona, 08193 Bellaterra, Barcelona, Spain.

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Rosa M. Márquez Department of Animal Medicine and Surgery, College of Veterinary Medicine, Autonomous University of Barcelona, 08193 Bellaterra, Barcelona, Spain.

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Abstract

Objective—To compare the efficacy of meloxicam administered perioperatively with transdermal administration of fentanyl via a patch placed preoperatively in dogs undergoing orthopedic surgery.

Design—Prospective study.

Animals—16 dogs.

Procedure—Unilateral or bilateral osteotomy of the tibia and fibula was surgically performed, and a uniplanar external distraction device was placed in each limb. Postoperative pain and lameness were assessed 24, 48, and 72 hours after administration of the first of 3 doses of meloxicam (0.2 mg/kg [0.09 mg/lb], IV, given preoperatively, followed by 0.1 mg/kg [0.045 mg/lb], IV, after 24 hours, and 0.1 mg/kg, PO, after 48 hours) or preoperative placement of a transdermal fentanyl patch (50 μg/h) left in place for 72 hours.

Results—No significant differences in total pain scores were detected between groups. Mean ± SD lameness scores assessed at 24 and 72 hours were lower in dogs in the meloxicam group than dogs in the fentanyl group. Lameness scores decreased with time in a similar manner in both treatment groups.

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Perioperative administration of meloxicam or preoperative placement of a transdermal fentanyl patch provided effective and similar postoperative analgesia in dogs undergoing orthopedic surgery. However, because of its anti-inflammatory effects, treatment with meloxicam reduced the degree of lameness and resulted in rapid functional recovery of the limb. (J Am Vet Med Assoc 2005;227:1768–1774)

Abstract

Objective—To compare the efficacy of meloxicam administered perioperatively with transdermal administration of fentanyl via a patch placed preoperatively in dogs undergoing orthopedic surgery.

Design—Prospective study.

Animals—16 dogs.

Procedure—Unilateral or bilateral osteotomy of the tibia and fibula was surgically performed, and a uniplanar external distraction device was placed in each limb. Postoperative pain and lameness were assessed 24, 48, and 72 hours after administration of the first of 3 doses of meloxicam (0.2 mg/kg [0.09 mg/lb], IV, given preoperatively, followed by 0.1 mg/kg [0.045 mg/lb], IV, after 24 hours, and 0.1 mg/kg, PO, after 48 hours) or preoperative placement of a transdermal fentanyl patch (50 μg/h) left in place for 72 hours.

Results—No significant differences in total pain scores were detected between groups. Mean ± SD lameness scores assessed at 24 and 72 hours were lower in dogs in the meloxicam group than dogs in the fentanyl group. Lameness scores decreased with time in a similar manner in both treatment groups.

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Perioperative administration of meloxicam or preoperative placement of a transdermal fentanyl patch provided effective and similar postoperative analgesia in dogs undergoing orthopedic surgery. However, because of its anti-inflammatory effects, treatment with meloxicam reduced the degree of lameness and resulted in rapid functional recovery of the limb. (J Am Vet Med Assoc 2005;227:1768–1774)

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