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Am J Vet Res. 1979 Aug;40(8):1082-6.

Objective tests of analgesic drugs in ponies.


An equine model, subjected to three kinds of pain (superficial, deep, and visceral) was used to test effects of analgesic drugs. Two groups of ponies were used. In the first group of six ponies, six drugs (fentanyl, meperidine, methadone, oxymorphone, pentazocine, and xylazine) were given according to a Latin square experimental design, and tests were made at 30-minute intervals for 4 hours. Mean values (control) for the three kinds of pain were obtained before and after the tests and were compared with the mean values (drugs) obtained over 2- and 4-hour intervals (four and eight measurements per interval, respectively). Xylazine was significantly more effective in obtunding deep pain (P less than 0.05) at 2- and 4-hour intervals than were the other drugs. Significant differences were not found between values for controls and values for drugs tested for relief of superficial and visceral pain at 2- and 4-hour intervals. In the second group of four ponies, the drug (xylazine) determined most effective in group 1 ponies was given alone or in combination with the next most effective drugs (fentanyl, meperidine, and oxymorphone). Data were obtained in the same manner as for the first group. Mean values were calculated for 2- and 4-hour intervals, and the variance was analyzed. Xylazine and fentanyl combined had the best 2- and 4-hour performance for the relief of visceral pain in the second group (P less than 0.1). Neither xylazine nor a combination of drugs differed markedly from control values for 2- and 4-hour intervals for relief of superficial and deep pain.

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