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Physiological measurements after ovariohysterectomy in dogs: what's normal?

By B. D. Hansen, E. M. Hardie, G. S. Carroll

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Twenty-two pet dogs presented to the North Carolina State University Veterinary Teaching Hospital for elective ovariohysterectomy were treated with oxymorphone 2.5 mg/msuperscript 2 (Surgery-O group, 11 dogs) or placebo (Surgery-P group, 11 dogs) immediately before the induction of anaesthesia and 6, 12 and 18 h later. 17 random source dogs assigned to a control group that underwent anaesthesia alone for 2 h received identical treatment with oxymorphone (Control-O group, 9 dogs) or placebo (Control-P group, 8 dogs). The heart rate, respiratory rate, temperature and blood pressure were measured preoperatively, at the time of skin incision (or 1 h after anaesthetic induction of controls), at extubation and at 1, 3, 6, 12 and 24 h after extubation. Plasma cortisol concentration was measured preoperatively, at extubation and at 3, 6 and 12 h. Treatment with oxymorphone reduced the heart rate and body temperature in both the Surgery-O and Control-O groups, but no differences in physical findings suggesting an analgesic effect of the drug were identified. Elevated plasma cortisol concentrations were found at 3 and 6 h after extubation in both surgery groups, whereas the plasma cortisol concentration in the control groups did not change. The plasma cortisol concentration was reduced in the Surgery-O group compared to the Surgery-P group at 3-12 h, suggesting an analgesic effect of the drug. It is concluded that routinely monitored physiological signs are not sensitive indicators of a stress response to ovariohysterectomy, or of an analgesic effect of oxymorphone.

Date 1997
Publication Title Applied Animal Behaviour Science
Volume 51
Issue 1/2
Pages 101-109
ISBN/ISSN 0168-1591
DOI 10.1016/S0168-1591(96)01079-9
Language English
Author Address North Carolina State University, College of Veterinary Medicine, 4700 Hillsborough Street, Raleigh, NC 27606, USA.
Cite this work

Researchers should cite this work as follows:

  1. Analgesia
  2. Animal Treatment and Diagnosis (Non-Drug)
  3. Animal welfare
  4. Blood Pressure
  5. Carnivores
  6. Cortisol
  7. Dogs
  8. Heart rate
  9. Hydrocortisone
  10. Hysterectomy
  11. Mammals
  12. ovariectomy
  13. Ovariohysterectomy
  14. Pain
  15. pain relief
  16. peer-reviewed
  17. Pets and companion animals
  18. Respiration
  19. Stress
  20. temperatures
  1. peer-reviewed