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Farm Animal Practice
Regional anaesthesia techniques in cattle
  1. Barrie Edwards

    Barrie Edwards is professor of equine studies at Liverpool University. He has been involved in teaching and providing a referral service in all aspects of large animal surgery for many years. His major clinical and research interest is equine gastroenterology. He obtained a PhD in veterinary medicine in 1991 and is an FRCVS.


MANY surgical procedures can be performed safely and humanely in ruminants using a combination of physical restraint, mild sedation and regional anaesthesia. Although local infiltration analgesia is adequate for minor operations, it is less suitable for more complex surgery, such as laparotomies and digit amputation. Successful regional anaesthesia requires a thorough knowledge of the anatomy of the nerve(s) in question, including the structures they innervate, their location and relationship to other structures, such as arteries, veins and fascial layers. This article describes the approach to regional anaesthesia and discusses the anatomical considerations which need to be taken into account when performing these procedures.

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