Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) are efficacious analgesics that contribute to preventive and multimodal analgesic techniques. They are widely used for routine surgeries in cats and dogs and there is some evidence that it is advantageous to give NSAIDs before the start of surgery, rather than in the postoperative period. Despite their efficacy, the side effects of NSAIDs should always be taken into consideration when deciding whether to administer them to a particular patient. The kidney is a particularly vulnerable organ during anaesthesia, due to the high prevalence of hypotension in anaesthetised patients; the administration of a NSAID preoperatively means that it is imperative to monitor and support blood pressure during anaesthesia to prevent renal compromise on recovery. This article summarises the mechanism of action of NSAIDs and provides guidance for practitioners on their use in the perioperative period.
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