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Pain management of a mandibular fracture in an alpaca (Vicugna pacos) via epidural catheter placement in the mandibular foramen
  1. Thaleia Stathopoulou1,
  2. Christopher Seymour2,
  3. Alex McSloy3,
  4. James Adams4 and
  5. Jaime Viscasillas1
  1. 1Clinical Sciences and Services, The Royal Veterinary College, Hatfield, UK
  2. 2Anaesthesia, Hamilton Specialist Referrals, High Wycombe, UK
  3. 3Farm Animal Clinical Centre, The Royal Veterinary College, Hatfield, UK
  4. 4Langford Vets Farm Animal Practice, University of Bristol Faculty of Medical and Veterinary Sciences, Bristol, UK
  1. Correspondence to Dr Thaleia Stathopoulou; tstathopoulou{at}


A nine-year-old female alpaca with a history of a recurrent tooth root abscess presented for further investigation of a swelling of the left mandible and possible tooth extraction. During the manipulation of the mandible in surgery, the mandibular body fractured, and due to active infection it was left to heal by secondary intention. After surgery, the alpaca became dull and inappetent. Analgesic drugs included buprenorphine and meloxicam, which were ineffective according to the alpaca’s clinical appearance. An inferior alveolar nerve block was achieved by repeated administration of local anaesthetic (ropivacaine 0.75 per cent) every six hours via an epidural catheter placed in the mandibular foramen under CT guidance. Despite the adequate level of comfort achieved, discharge from surgical site resumed and the owner elected euthanasia. In conclusion, the placement of an epidural catheter in the mandibular canal, under CT guidance, was proven to successfully provide analgesia to an alpaca suffering from mandibular fractures.

  • camelids
  • analgesia
  • dentistry
  • mandibular block
  • catheter
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  • Contributors Dr Thaleia- Rengina Stathopoulou: wrote the manuscript, performed the technique. Dr Christopher Seymour: review of the manuscript. Dr Alex McSloy: clinician of the case, review of the manuscript. Dr James Adams : clinician of the case, review of the manuscript. Dr Jaime Viscasillas: supervisor of the technique, review of the manuscript.

  • 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 All data relevant to the study are included in the article.

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