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J Vet Dent. 2014 Summer;31(2):92-5.

Duration of action of bupivacaine hydrochloride used for palatal sensory nerve block in infant pigs.


Bupivacaine hydrochloride is frequently used in veterinary dental procedures to reduce the amount of general anesthesia needed and to reduce post-procedural pain. The aim of this study was to develop a novel method to test local anesthetic duration in mammals. Six infant pigs were placed under deep/surgical anesthesia with 3 % isoflurane and oxygen while 0.5 ml of 0.5% bupivacaine hydrochloride was injected to block the two greater palatine and the nasopalatine nerves. They were then maintained under light anesthesia with 0.5-1.0% isoflurane. Beginning 15-minutes after the injection, 7 sites in the oral cavity were stimulated using a pointed dental waxing instrument, including 3 sites on the hard palate. The response, or lack of response, to the stimulus was recorded on video and in written record The bupivacaine hydrochloride injections lasted 1 to 3-hours before the animals responded to the sensory stimulation with a reflexive movement This study provides evidence that bupivacaine used to anesthetize the hard palate has a relatively short and variable duration of action far below what is expected based on its pharmacokinetic properties.

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