The challenge of evaluating pain and a pre-incisional local anesthetic block

Carolyn M. McKune, Peter J Pascoe, B. Duncan X Lascelles, Philip H Kass

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

11 Scopus citations


Background: Our objective was to test the effectiveness of a local anesthetic line block administered before surgery in reducing postoperative pain scores in dogs undergoing ovariohysterectomy (OVHX). Methods: This study is a prospective, randomized, blinded, clinical trial involving 59 healthy female dogs. An algometric pressure-measuring device was used to determine nociceptive threshold, and compared to three subjective pain scales. Group L/B received a line block of lidocaine (4 mg/kg) and bupivacaine (1 mg/kg) subcutaneously in the area of the incision site and saline subcutaneously as premedication; group L/BM (positive control) received a similar block and morphine (0.5 mg/kg) subcutaneously for premedication; and group SS (negative control) received a saline line block and saline premedication. Criteria for rescue analgesia were defined before the study. Dogs were assessed prior to surgery, at extubation (time 0) and at 2, 4, 6, 8 and 24 h post-recovery. The data were analyzed with one-way ANOVA, and a Split Plot RepeatedMeasures ANOVA with one grouping factor and one repeat factor (time). P < 0.05 was considered statistically significant. Results: Approximately 33% of dogs required rescue analgesia at some point during the study, with no significant difference between groups. There was no significant difference between treatment groups with any assessment method. Conclusions: As there were no statistically significant differences between positive and negative controls, the outcome of this technique cannot be proven.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numbere341
Issue number1
StatePublished - 2014


  • Bupivacaine
  • Dog
  • Lidocaine
  • Local anesthesia
  • Pain assessment

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Agricultural and Biological Sciences(all)
  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
  • Medicine(all)
  • Neuroscience(all)


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