Archive (2005–2015)

Hypobaric intrathecal anaesthesia for partial hemipelvectomy in a dog

Journal: Veterinary and Comparative Orthopaedics and Traumatology (VCOT)
ISSN: 0932-0814
Issue: 2008: Issue 1 2008
Pages: 89-93

Hypobaric intrathecal anaesthesia for partial hemipelvectomy in a dog

L. Novello 1,2, B. Carobbi 1, N. J. Bacon 1, R. A. S. White1
1 Dick White Referrals, Six Mile Bottom, Newmarket, Suffolk, UK 2Department of Anaesthesia, the Queen’s Veterinary School Hospital, Cambridge, UK


analgesia, Spinal anaesthesia, selective spinal anaesthesia, intrathecal, hypobaric, regional anaesthesia, SSA


Objective: To report the intrathecal use of a hypobaric anaesthetic solution for partial hemipelvectomy in a nine-year-old, neutered female, Golden Retriever dog, weighing 34 kg. Methods: Under inhalational anaesthesia, with the dog lying in lateral recumbency and the surgical side uppermost, 1.9 ml of a hypobaric solution containing 3.42 mg of bupivacaine and 0.66 mg of morphine were administered in the subarachnoid space at L5–6 level 30 minutes before surgery. Following the intrathecal injection the dog was maintained for five minutes in a 10° head-down position, then for three minutes in a 10° head-up position. Results: Apart from a transient increase in heart and respiratory rates during resection of the sartorius muscle, which was treated with a plasma Target Controlled Infusion (TCI) of fentanyl, spinal anaesthesia provided cardiovascular stability and excellent relaxation of the surgical site. Neither motor blockade nor proprioceptive deficit were apparent in the contra-lateral hind limb at recovery, 200 minutes after injection. Postoperatively, rescue analgesia was not required in the 48 hours following surgery. Clinical significance: In dogs, the use of intrathecal hypobaric bupivacaine and morphine as a part of a balanced anaesthetic protocol should be considered during unilateral major orthopaedic surgeries of the pelvis and hind limb, as it allowed a reduction in the dose administered compared to isobaric solutions, providing selective spinal anaesthesia, excellent longlasting analgesia, and rapid recovery of ambulation.

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