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Companion Animal Practice
Local analgesic techniques in small animals
  1. Kate Borer

    Kate Borer graduated from Liverpool in 1999. After a spell in mixed practice in Essex, she undertook a residency in equine anaesthesia and intensive care at the Royal Veterinary College, where she is now a lecturer in anaesthesia. She holds the RCVS certificate in veterinary anaesthesia and is a diplomate of the European College of Veterinary Anaesthesia.


WHILE systemic administration of analgesic agents, such as opioids and non‐steroidal anti‐inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), is the mainstay approach for the treatment of pain, many of these drugs have unwanted side effects when administered systemically or cannot be used for long periods of time to manage postoperative pain. This article discusses some simple local analgesic techniques that can be used alongside these methods of pain control to provide local analgesia to dogs and cats in practice. These are not intended to replace the systemic administration of opioids or NSAIDs, but can help reduce the postoperative requirement for systemic drugs and, thus, their side effects. Irrespective of which methods are used to manage pain in individual patients, it is important to frequently assess the effectiveness of the pain control provided.

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