Opioid-free anaesthesia in three dogs
Opioid-free anaesthesia (OFA) is a relatively new and growing field in human medicine. There are multiple motivations behind this emerging practice with the recognition of several serious potential opioid-related adverse effects including opioid induced hyperalgesia, opioid tolerance and immunomodulatory effects of opioids. Opioids have long been the mainstay of veterinary anaesthesia and pain management practice. The feasibility of OFA in veterinary patients is presented here. A case series of three dogs that underwent OFA for canine ovariohysterectomy is reported. The authors conclude OFA is possible in veterinary medicine; however the move away from the familiar effects of opioids perioperatively is challenging. Gaining experience with these types of protocols for standard procedures in healthy animals, such as neutering, will provide the anaesthetist with the building blocks for more invasive surgeries.
Keywords: Anaesthesia, Analgesia, Dog, Pain.