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Dogs
Pruritus and myoclonus following five consecutive doses of morphine administered through an epidural catheter in a dog
  1. Christian Dancker1,
  2. Paul MacFarlane2 and
  3. Emma J Love1
  1. 1Bristol Veterinary School, University of Bristol, Langford, UK
  2. 2Langford Vets, University of Bristol, Langford, UK
  1. Correspondence to Dr Christian Dancker, Bristol Veterinary School, University of Bristol, Langford, UK; cdancker{at}gmail.com

Abstract

A 2-year, 10-month-old male entire whippet had an epidural catheter placed to provide postoperative analgesia following lateral thoracotomy. He received 0.1 mg/kg preservative free morphine every 12 hours via the epidural catheter. After the fifth dose, the dog showed sudden signs of pruritus and myoclonus and became severely distressed, and the epidural catheter was removed. Despite initial treatment with sedatives (dexmedetomidine and propofol), antihistamines (chlorphenamine) and the opioid antagonist naloxone, the pruritus did not completely resolve. Ten hours after the onset of clinical signs, having received additional sedation (dexmedetomidine) and supportive treatment, the dog returned to normal behaviour and the pruritus stopped. The dog subsequently recovered uneventfully. Pruritus and myoclonus following epidural administration of morphine can be difficult to manage and may appear after several doses have been administered.

  • analgesia
  • pain
  • morphine
  • epidural
  • adverse drug reaction
  • pruritus
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Footnotes

  • Contributors CD: clinical management of the case, draft and editing of the manuscript and approval of submission. PM: clinical management of the case, critical revision and editing of the manuscript and approval for submission. EJL: critical revision and editing of the manuscript and approval for submission.

  • Funding The authors have not declared a specific grant for this research from any funding agency in the public, commercial or not-for-profit sectors.

  • Competing interests None declared.

  • Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.

  • Data availability statement No additional data are available

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