Use of anti-inflammatory and analgesic drugs in dogs and cats.Aust Vet J 1996; 74(3):203-10AV
Responses (486) were collared from a survey of 5054 Australian veterinarians on their use of anti-inflammatory and analgesic drugs in dogs and cats. Almost all respondents used glucocorticoids (usually prednisolone) to treat allergic, pruritic dermatoses in dogs, while two-thirds also gave fatty acid supplements and one-half used antihistamines. Almost 60% of respondents initially injected a glucocorticoid (frequently a long-acting preparation) when treating inflammatory skin diseases in dogs. More than 90% of respondents used glucocorticoids to treat immune-mediated haemolytic anaemia or thrombocytopenia, and about one-third also gave cytotoxic drugs. Administration of prednisolone on alternate days was generally favoured for long-term enteral steroid therapy. Phenylbutazone was the most preferred treatment for painful or inflammatory musculoskeletal disorders of dogs, but aspirin and pentosan polysulphate were also used widely. Regarding the use of analgesics drugs generally, both narcotic analgesics and non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) were used more widely in dogs than in cats, but alpha-2 agonists were used similarly in both species. The most commonly used narcotic analgesics were pethidine and buprenorphine in both species, while the NSAIDs used most often were flunixin and dipyrone in dogs and ketoprofen in cats. More than 80% of respondents generally used analgesic drugs with potentially painful surgical procedures, with doses given usually before anaesthetic recovery. Analgesic use rates varied with the condition, ranging from 94% for patients with acute severe trauma, through 60% for cruciate ligament repair and 29% for perineal herniorrahphy, to about 5% for ovariohysterectomy and dog castration. The three clinical signs most frequently nominated as indicators of pain in dogs and cats were (in descending order) vocalisation, response to handling or palpating the affected area, and mental depression. Other items mentioned frequently were behavioural changes and immobility (in both species), inappetence/anorexia in cats, and altered respiration in dogs.