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J Am Assoc Lab Anim Sci. 2011 Mar;50(2):185-91.

Effects of buprenorphine, meloxicam, and flunixin meglumine as postoperative analgesia in mice.

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  • 1Cellular and Molecular Pathology Branch, National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences, Research Triangle Park, North Carolina, USA.


C57BL/6NCrl male mice (n = 60; age, 6 to 7 wk) underwent partial hepatectomy or no surgery and were given 1 of 3 analgesics pre- and postoperatively. Food and water consumption, body weight, running wheel activity, locomotor activity, and serum corticosterone concentrations were measured before and after surgery. Mice that were surgically manipulated weighed significantly less on days 1 through 3 after surgery than did mice not manipulated surgically. On the day of surgery, the surgery groups consumed significantly less feed (-1.5±0.35 g) than did nonsurgery groups. There were no differences in water consumption on any day between surgery and nonsurgery groups or among the 3 analgesic groups. For running wheel activity, significant decreases in the surgery groups were seen at day 1 after surgery compared with baseline. Surgery groups that received buprenorphine and meloxicam returned to baseline activity levels on day 2 after surgery. Open-field testing revealed no significant differences in locomotor activity in any groups; however, posttreatment locomotor activity in the buprenorphine nonsurgery group was increased compared with baseline, and posttreatment locomotor activity in the flunixin meglumine surgery group was decreased compared with baseline. Serum corticosterone concentrations were within normal limits regardless of treatment in all groups. Comparison of the overall results indicated that meloxicam and buprenorphine, at the dose given, appear to be suitable postoperative analgesics for partial hepatectomy in mice. Flunixin meglumine at the given dosage (2.5 mg/kg) may not provide adequate analgesia for partial hepatectomy.

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