OBJECTIVE: To compare liposome-encapsulated bupivacaine (LEB) and (nonliposomal) 0.5% bupivacaine hydrochloride (0.5BH) for control of postoperative pain in dogs undergoing tibial plateau leveling osteotomy (TPLO).
ANIMALS: 33 client-owned dogs.
PROCEDURES: In a randomized clinical trial, dogs undergoing TPLO received LEB (5.3 mg/kg [2.4 mg/lb]) or 0.5BH (1.5 mg/kg [0.68 mg/lb]) by periarticular soft tissue injection. All dogs received carprofen (2.2 mg/kg [1 mg/lb], SC, q 12 h) beginning at extubation. Signs of pain were assessed at extubation and predetermined times up to 48 hours later with the Colorado State University-Canine Acute Pain Scale and Glasgow Composite Pain Scale-Short Form. A pressure nociceptive threshold device was used at the affected stifle joint before surgery and at 5 postoperative time points. Methadone (0.1 mg/kg [0.05 mg/lb], IV) was administered if the Colorado State University pain scale score was ≥ 2 (scale, 0 to 4). Surgical variables; pain scores; pressure nociceptive thresholds; times to first administration of rescue analgesic, first walk, and first meal consumption; and total opioid administration were compared between treatment groups.
RESULTS: 28 dogs completed the study. Dogs administered LEB were less likely to require rescue analgesia and received lower amounts of opioids than dogs administered 0.5BH. There were no significant intergroup differences in other measured variables.
CONCLUSIONS AND CLINICAL RELEVANCE: The LEB appeared to provide adequate analgesia after TPLO with lower requirements for opioid treatments, which may allow dogs to be discharged from the hospital earlier than with traditional pain management strategies.