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Opioid-free anaesthesia (OFA) in a springer spaniel sustaining a lateral humeral condylar fracture undergoing surgical repair


A two-year, three-month-old male entire springer spaniel presented for right thoracic limb lameness. Radiographs of both elbows revealed a right lateral humeral condylar fracture. Local anaesthesia using bupivacaine was supplied to the site using a continuous stay peri-neural catheter at the brachial plexus. The fracture was stabilised using a lag screw and locking compression plate (LCP) plate. No response to surgical stimulation was noted on the patient’s vital parameters during anaesthesia, systemic analgesia was deemed not to be required. Bupivacaine was administered through the brachial plexus catheter every seven hours postoperatively. Pain scores were noted to be low, hence no systemic opioids were provided. The use of a continuous peripheral nerve block allowed for cold packs and passive range of motion exercises the same day of surgery. It also allowed for a lack of requirement of systemic opioids for the duration of hospitalisation.

  • anaesthesia
  • analgesia
  • pain
  • dogs
  • surgery
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