Comparison of bupivacaine liposome injectable solution and fentanyl for postoperative analgesia in dogs undergoing limb amputation

Snighdha Paul, Alena Strelchik, Jack O'Day, Alonso G P Guedes, Wanda J Gordon-Evans
Vet Surg. 2024 Feb 13. doi: 10.1111/vsu.14080.

Objective: The objectives of the study were to compare the clinical efficacy and adverse effects of two analgesic protocols consisting of bupivacaine liposome injectable solution (BLIS) and 0.5% bupivacaine and fentanyl for postsurgical analgesia in dogs undergoing limb amputation.

Study design: Randomized, double-blind, prospective, controlled, intent-to-treat, clinical noninferiority trial.

Animals: Forty client-owned dogs.

Methods: Dogs undergoing amputation were randomly assigned to either the BLIS or control group. Postoperative pain, sedation, nausea, and amount eaten were assessed using appropriate scales at 6, 12, 18, and 24 h by trained individuals blinded to the treatment protocol. Rescue analgesia was provided for Glasgow composite measure pain scale (short form) (CMPS-SF) scores of 5 or above. Clients were requested to pain score their dogs at home using a visual analogue scale (VAS) for 48 h following discharge.

Results: Forty dogs completed this study (20 control dogs and 20 BLIS dogs). The BLIS and control groups were equivalent for sedation, nausea, amount eaten, and pain, at all time periods except at 6 h (p < .01), when the BLIS group pain score was lower.

Conclusion: The BLIS provided equivalent analgesia with fewer adverse effects than fentanyl constant rate infusion (CRI) following limb amputation. Rescue analgesia was provided to five dogs in the BLIS group and four in the control group, and there was no statistical difference. Nausea scores did not differ statistically.

Clinical significance: As BLIS provides equivalent analgesia, this may allow for decreased reliance on opioids in the immediate postoperative period.