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Can Vet J. 2004 Jan;45(1):42-7.

Perineal analgesia and hemodynamic effects of the epidural administration of meperidine or hyperbaric bupivacaine in conscious horses.

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  • 1Department of Veterinary Medicine--Surgery and Anaesthesiology, Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, Federal University of Mato Grosso do Sul State, Caixa Postal 549, Campo Grande, CEP 79070-900, Brazil.


Epidural administration of bupivacaine and meperidine produces analgesia in several animal species and in humans. A prospective randomized study was conducted in 18 healthy horses to compare the effect of these 2 drugs administered by the epidural route. Animals were divided into 3 treatment groups of 6 animals each. All drugs were injected by the epidural route in all animals between the 1st and 2nd coccygeal vertebrae. Treatment 1 (BUP)--0.06 mg/kg of body weight of 0.5% hyperbaric bupivacaine; treatment 2 (MEP)--0.6 mg/kg of body weight of 5% meperidine; treatment 3 (SS)--0.9% saline solution (control group). Heart rate, arterial pressure, respiratory rate, rectal temperature, analgesia, sedation, and motor-blocking were determined before drug administration (baseline values); at 5, 10, 15, and 30 minutes after drug administration, and then at 30-minute intervals thereafter. Both hyperbaric bupivacaine and meperidine administered epidurally produced complete bilateral perineal analgesia in all horses. The onset of analgesia was 6, s = 2.6 minutes after injection of bupivacaine, as opposed to 9, s = 2 minutes after meperidine. The duration of analgesia was 240, s = 57 minutes for meperidine and 320, s = 30 minutes for bupivacaine. Heart and respiratory rates, arterial pressure, and rectal temperature did not change (P < 0.05) significantly from basal values after the epidural administration of bupivacaine, meperidine, or saline solution. To conclude, both bupivacaine and meperidine induced long-lasting perineal analgesia, with minimal cardiovascular effects. Analgesia was induced faster and lasted longer with bupivacaine.

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