Postoperative use of analgesics in dogs and cats by ...

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Title Postoperative use of analgesics in dogs and cats by Canadian veterinarians
Author(s) Susan E. Dohoo, Ian R. Dohoo
Journal The Canadian Veterinary Journal. La Revue Veterinaire Canadienne
Date 1996
Volume 37
Issue 9
Start page 546
End page 551
Abstract Four hundred and seventeen Canadian veterinarians were surveyed to determine their postoperative use of analgesics in dogs and cats following 6 surgical procedures, and to determine their opinions toward pain perception and perceived complications associated with the postoperative use of potent opioid analgesics. Three hundred and seventeen (76%) returned the questionnaire. The percentage of animals receiving analgesics postoperatively ranged from 84% of dogs and 70% of cats following orthopedic surgery to 10% of dogs and 9% of cats following castration. In general, with the exception of orthopedic surgery, roughly equal percentages of dogs and cats received postoperative analgesics. Opioids were used almost exclusively to provide postoperative analgesia, with butorphanol the most commonly administered drug to both dogs and cats. Analgesics were usually administered either once or twice postoperatively. With regard to the administration of potent opioid agonists, the 3 major concerns included respiratory depression, bradycardia, and sedation in dogs, and excitement, respiratory depression, and bradycardia in cats. Seventy-seven percent of veterinarians considered their knowledge of issues related to the recognition and control of postoperative pain to be inadequate. Experience in practice is currently the major source of knowledge, with undergraduate veterinary school and research articles in journals ranked as the least important sources. Lectures or seminars delivered at the regional level were the preferred format for continuing education.

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