Research Update: Evaluating two analgesic options for dogs undergoing orthopedic surgery


Research Update: Evaluating two analgesic options for dogs undergoing orthopedic surgery

Sep 01, 2005

In this double-blind, prospective, and randomized clinical trial from France, 60 dogs undergoing orthopedic surgery were treated with either preoperative meloxicam (0.2 mg/kg intravenously) or intraoperative ketoprofen (2 mg/kg intravenously) and assessed for pain for up to 24 hours after surgery. To evaluate any adverse drug reactions, clinical and biochemical evaluations were also performed. Surgical procedures included cranial cruciate ligament repair, patellar luxation treatment, femoral head and neck excision arthroplasty, and long bone fracture repair.

The authors found no significant differences in pain response or coagulation times between the drug treatments. In both groups, serum alkaline phosphatase and alanine aminotransferase activities were significantly increased when compared with baseline values. No serious clinical complications were noted in either group. In summary, both drug protocols were comparable in providing analgesia after orthopedic surgery in dogs.

Deneuche AJ, Dufayet C, Goby L, et al. Analgesic comparison of meloxicam or ketoprofen for orthopedic surgery in dogs. Vet Surg 2004;33:650-660.


Postoperative analgesia is a hot issue in small-animal surgery, and the perioperative administration of the best narcotic or nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID) is a seemingly never-ending debate among academicians, drug representatives, and practitioners.

In this European clinical study, the authors describe the efficacy of this drug and ketoprofen in alleviating pain over 24 hours, with neither NSAID producing untoward effects for up to seven days after common orthopedic procedures in dogs. This data, from a single intravenous injection, should help clinicians feel comfortable administering either NSAID to their canine patients before or during surgery.

Joseph Harari, MS, DVM, DACVS
The information in "Research Updates" was provided by Veterinary Medicine Editorial Advisory Board member Joseph Harari, MS, DVM, DACVS, Veterinary Surgical Specialists, 21 E. Mission Ave., Spokane, WA 99202.