Local and regional anesthesia



Title Local and regional anesthesia
Author(s) Kip A. Lemke, Susan D. Dawson
Journal The Veterinary Clinics of North America. Small Animal Practice
Date 2000
Volume 30
Issue 4
Start page 839
End page 857
Abstract Local anesthetics have the unique ability to produce complete blockade of sensory nerve fibers and prevent or pre-empt the development of secondary (central) sensitization to pain. For this reason, local and regional anesthetic techniques are often used with opioids, alpha 2-receptor agonists, dissociatives, and anti-inflammatory drugs as part of a multimodal strategy to manage pain. Lidocaine and bupivacaine are the local anesthetics used most commonly in dogs and cats. Lidocaine has a fast onset (10-15 min) and an intermediate duration of action (60-120 min), and is used for short diagnostic and surgical procedures. Bupivacaine has a slow onset (20-30 min) and a long duration of action (240-360 min), and is used to control pain both preoperatively and postoperatively. Local anesthetics are relatively safe if they are administered correctly. Administration of an excessive dose and accidental intravenous administration are probably the most common causes of systemic toxicity in small animals. Doses of local anesthetics, especially those for cats and small dogs, should always be calculated carefully. In many animals, the most simple and elegant way to control pain perioperatively is to perform a local or regional anesthetic block. Veterinarians should not hesitate to incorporate local and regional anesthetic techniques into their pain management strategies for dogs and cats.

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