The influence of the choice of preemptive analgesia on long-term postsurgical pain after TPLO in dogs

William Pownall, Ulrich Rytz, Gertraud Schuepbach, Claudia Spadavecchia, Helene Rohrbach
Vet Surg. 2020 Sep 21. doi: 10.1111/vsu.13515.

Objective: To evaluate the prevalence of chronic postsurgical pain (CPSP) after tibial plateau leveling osteotomy (TPLO) in dogs and to determine the influence of preemptive locoregional analgesia on CPSP.

Study design: Retrospective study.

Animals: One hundred twenty client-owned dogs.

Methods: Medical records of dogs that underwent TPLO between 2012 and 2016 were reviewed for demographic information and type of preemptive analgesia. Owners were contacted to retrospectively assess the quality of life of their dogs by using the Helsinki Chronic Pain Index (HCPI) before and 6 months after surgery and at the time of questioning. An HCPI score > 12 was considered indicative of CPSP. Medical records were reviewed for demographic information and type of preemptive analgesia. A cumulative logit model was used to assess correlation of type of perioperative analgesia, HCPI, and demographic data.

Results: The HCPI score was consistent with CPSP in 41 of 101 dogs with long-term follow-up (2.9 ± 1.5 years after surgery). Chronic postsurgical pain was documented in 11 of 32 and 13 of 28 dogs that received a spinal or epidural injection, respectively, or in 28 of 80 and 25 of 67 dogs with sciatic-femoral block at 6 months or with long-term follow-up after TPLO, respectively (P > .05). A negative correlation was found between HCPI and both weight and age 6 months after surgery. Only weight remained negatively correlated 2.9 years after surgery.

Conclusion: Forty-one percent of dogs that were evaluated exhibited HCPI values compatible with CPSP long-term after TPLO, regardless of the type of preemptive analgesia. Increased body weight was a negative prognostic factor for CPSP development.

Clinical significance: Additional studies are required to evaluate CPSP development after TPLO.