Opioid drugs are pivotal to the effective management of acute pain in dogs, and, for this reason, they are the ‘gold standard’ agents for the treatment of postsurgical pain. While most veterinary surgeons will administer these drugs for the immediate post-operative period, it is less common to maintain opioid analgesia in animals that have been returned home to the owner. The first article in this two-part series on extending postoperative opioid analgesia in dogs focused on administration of these drugs by the oral route, and emphasised some of the inherent limitations (Murrell and Flaherty 2014). This article examines how opioid analgesia can be maintained postoperatively using the transdermal route.
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