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Am J Vet Res. 2003 Nov;64(11):1429-37.

Effect of carprofen, etodolac, meloxicam, or butorphanol in dogs with induced acute synovitis.

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Novartis Centre de Recherche, Sante Animale SA, 1566 St-Aubin, Switzerland.



To compare the analgesic and anti-inflammatory effect of single doses of carprofen, etodolac, meloxicam, and butorphanol in dogs with induced acute synovitis (acute pain model) via kinetic gait analysis and orthopedic evaluation and examine measurement of serum C-reactive protein (CRP) concentration as an indicator of treatment efficacy.


12 Beagles and 6 additional Beagles that were used only in serum CRP analyses.


Acute synovitis was induced in right stifle joints of dogs via intra-articular injection of monosodium urate solution. Treatments included butorphanol (0.2 mg/kg, i.v.), carprofen (4 mg/kg, PO), etodolac (17 mg/kg, PO), or meloxicam (0.2 mg/kg, PO); control dogs received no treatment. The procedure was repeated (3-week intervals) until all dogs received all treatments including control treatment. Lameness was assessed on a biomechanical force platform and via orthopedic evaluations of the stifle joints; blood was collected to monitor serum CRP concentration.


Compared with control dogs, treated dogs had significantly different vertical ground reaction forces and weight-bearing scores. Greatest improvement in lameness was observed in carprofen-treated dogs. Etodolac had the fastest onset of action. Compared with butorphanol treatment, only carprofen and etodolac were associated with significantly lower pain scores. An increase in serum CRP concentration was detected after intra-articular injection in all dogs; this change was similar among groups.


Carprofen, etodolac, and meloxicam had greater efficacy than butorphanol in relief of acute pain. Carprofen was most effective overall. In this acute pain model, serum CRP analysis was not useful to assess drug efficacy.

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