Welcome to the all-new Vetlearn

  • Vetlearn is becoming part of NAVC VetFolio.
    Starting in January 2015, Compendium and
    Veterinary Technician articles will be available on
    NAVC VetFolio. VetFolio subscribers will have
    access to not only the journals, but also:
  • Over 500 hours of CE
  • Community forums to discuss tough cases
    and networking with your peers
  • Three years of select NAVC Conference
  • Free webinars for the entire healthcare team

To access Vetlearn, you must first sign in or register.


  Sign up now for:
Become a Member

Compendium July 2008 (Vol 30, No 7)

Abstract Thoughts — Analgesics for Canine Femoral and Pelvic Fracture Repairs

    Bergmann HM, Nolte I, Kramer S. Comparison of analgesic efficacy of preoperative or postoperative carprofen with or without preincisional mepivicaine epidural anesthesia in canine pelvic or femoral fracture repair. Vet Surg 2007;36:623-632.


    In this prospective clinical trial from veterinary schools in Germany and Switzerland, 18 dogs with femoral fractures and 27 dogs with pelvic fractures were randomly assigned to one of four treatment groups. Group 1 received carprofen subcutaneously before induction of anesthesia. Group 2 received carprofen immediately after extubation. Group 3 received carprofen before induction and a mepivicaine epidural block 15 minutes before incision. Group 4 received carprofen after extubation and a mepivicaine epidural block before incision. All dogs received carprofen subcutaneously for 4 days after surgery.

    Results of the study revealed that at various time points, dogs in groups 3 and 4 had lower pain scores compared with groups 1 and 2. No rescue analgesic was necessary in dogs in groups 3 and 4. At all time points, pain scores decreased significantly when compared with pretreatment values. Pain scores did not differ significantly between dogs in groups 1 and 2 nor between dogs in groups 3 and 4. The treatments had no effect on renal function and hemostatic variables. The authors concluded that epidural mepivicaine enhanced postoperative analgesia when carprofen was used before or after surgery, and no advantage was observed with preoperative carprofen administration.


    Fracture repair and analgesic therapies are common clinical issues for small animal practitioners regardless of whether a generalist or a specialist performs the surgery. The results of this study indicate that carprofen administered subcutaneously can provide some pain relief and is safe to use in trauma patients with normal blood values. Additionally, regional anesthesia through the use of epidural injection significantly enhances the "mild" NSAID-associated postoperative pain relief, especially when used in conjunction with opioid agonist premedication. The authors noted that epidural anesthesia was performed only if the lumbosacral space could be easily palpated in patients with pelvic fractures. Furthermore, dogs with preoperative elevations of blood urea nitrogen or creatinine or a prolonged bleeding time were not treated with carprofen and were excluded from the study.

    Downloadable PDF

    NEXT: Dirofilaria immitis in Cats: Anatomy of a Disease


    Did you know... A horse’s demeanor can be a good indicator of its pain level because painful animals are likely to become withdrawn and dull and may appear irritable. Read More

    These Care Guides are written to help your clients understand common conditions. They are formatted to print and give to your clients for their information.

    Stay on top of all our latest content — sign up for the Vetlearn newsletters.
    • More