Analgesia after lateral thoracotomy in dogs. Epidural morphine vs. intercostal bupivacaine.

Peter J Pascoe, D. H. Dyson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

73 Scopus citations


One of two analgesic treatments was randomly assigned to 40 dogs undergoing lateral thoracotomy. Group E (20 dogs) received an epidural injection of morphine (0.1 mg/kg) before surgery. Group I (20 dogs) received injections of bupivacaine around five intercostal nerves when the thorax was about to be closed. All dogs were given an opioid as part of their preoperative medication (meperidine or butorphanol), followed by thiopental for induction and halothane or methoxyflurane for maintenance of anesthesia. Scores were assigned for pre-operative demeanor and response to restraint and injection. Alertness, undisturbed pain behavior, and response to palpation of the wound were assessed 3, 6, 12, and 24 hours after surgery. Dogs that appeared uncomfortable were given analgesics. Blood for evaluation of arterial blood gases was obtained at 3 and 6 hours after surgery. The person scoring the dogs was blinded to the treatment given. There were no statistically significant differences between the groups. Group E contained more "nervous" dogs (12 vs. 6) and more dogs in group E received postoperative analgesics (8 vs. 2). Both techniques appeared to provide adequate analgesia for most dogs.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)141-147
Number of pages7
JournalVeterinary surgery : VS : the official journal of the American College of Veterinary Surgeons
Issue number2
StatePublished - Mar 1993
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • veterinary(all)


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