Veterinary Anesthesia & Analgesia Support Group
Practical Information for the Compassionate Veterinary Practitioner
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    L Drugs
    Alphabetical Drug Summaries
    Dr. Bob Stein


a)      Classification

i)        Local anesthetic and anti-arrhythmic agent

b)      General Information

i)        Quick onset

(1)   5 to 10 minutes

ii)       Short duration

(1)   About 1 to 2 hours

(2)   Combine with bupivacaine and either 0.075 mg/kg (0.035 mg/lb) morphine or 0.003 mg/kg (0.0015 mg/lb) buprenorphine to extend the analgesic duration of local blocks to approximately 20 hours1,2

c)      Advantages/Recommended use

i)        Local blocks for:

(1)   Declaws

(2)   Oral surgery

(3)   Dermal growths

(4)   Joint infusion

ii)       Topical anesthesia for:

(1)   Laryngeal desensitization to facilitate intubation

iii)     IV use:

(1)    To deepen anesthetic plane in dogs after initial induction agents given

(a)    Helps to minimize total induction agent need

(2)   As part of a CRI analgesic strategy

(a)    See CRI section for details

d)      Cautionary Information

i)        Potential CNS toxicity

(1)   Usually manifests as seizure activity if awake, cardiac depression when anesthetized

e)      Dosage Information

i)        Local blocks

(1)   Dogs and Cats – 1 to 4 mg/kg (0.5 to 2.0 mg/lb)

(2)   For awake patients, mix 0.9 cc Lidocaine, 0.1 cc sodium bicarbonate, and 2 cc of  sterile water

(a)    Reduced sting

ii)       IV induction enhancement

(1)   Dogs only – 2.0 mg/kg (1.0 mg/lb) IV after initial induction agent

iii)     Intra-articular

(1)   Generally whatever will fit after joint closure

(a)    Dogs – up to 6.0 mg/kg (3.0 mg/lb)

(i)      Generally 4 to 6 ml total volume

(b)   Cats – up to 4.0 mg/kg (2.0 mg/lb)

iv)     Epidural

(1)   Dogs and Cats – 4.0 mg/kg (2.0 mg/lb)

v)      Other uses

(1)   Intercostal blocks

(2)   Brachial plexus blocks

(3)   Ringblocks

(4)   Dental Blocks

(5)   CRI Infusions (exercise caution in cats)

f)       Cost

i)        Very low

    Page References:
    1 Buprenorphine added to the local anesthetic for axillary brachial plexus block prolongs postoperative analgesia. Candido KD, Winnie AP, Ghaleb AH, Fattouh MW, Franco CD: Reg Anesth Pain Med. 2002 Mar-Apr;27(2):162-7
    2 The addition of opioids to local anaesthetics in brachial plexus block: the comparative effects of morphine, buprenorphine and sufentanil. Bazin JE, Massoni C, Bruelle P, Fenies V, Groslier D, Schoeffler P: Anaesthesia. 1997 Sep;52(9):858-62
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Last modified: February 16, 2011 .