OBJECTIVE: To evaluate and compare the analgesic efficacy and adverse effects of dexketoprofen and methadone using a noninferiority trial, during the first 24 postoperative hours in dogs undergoing orthopaedic surgery.
STUDY DESIGN: Randomized, blinded clinical study.
ANIMALS: A total of 38 healthy dogs undergoing orthopaedic surgery.
METHODS: Dogs were premedicated with dexmedetomidine [1 μg kg-1 intravenously (IV)] followed by dexketoprofen (1 mg kg-1 IV; group DK) or methadone (0.2 mg kg-1 IV; group M). Anaesthesia was induced with propofol and maintained with isoflurane in 60% oxygen. Postoperatively, dexketoprofen was administered every 8 hours (group DK) and methadone every 4 hours (group M). Analgesia was assessed at baseline and at 1, 2, 4, 6, 18 and 24 hours after extubation using a dynamic and interactive visual analogue scale (DIVAS), the short form of the Glasgow Composite Measure Pain Scale (CMPS-SF), mechanical wound thresholds (MWTs) and plasma cortisol levels. If CMPS-SF score was ≥5, rescue analgesia was administered. Data were analysed using a general linear mixed model, Mann-Whitney U test and chi-squared test as appropriate; a p value <0.05 was considered significant.
RESULTS: The CMPS-SF and DIVAS scores were significantly higher in group M compared with group DK and remained higher for a longer period in group M, although the differences were not clinically significant. No significant differences were found in MWT assessment between groups. Plasma cortisol level significantly increased 2 hours after extubation, without significant differences between treatments. Rescue analgesia was administered to three animals (one in group DK; two in group M).
CONCLUSION AND CLINICAL RELEVANCE: We conclude that 1 mg kg-1 IV dexketoprofen administered every 8 hours during the first 24 hours postoperatively is noninferior to methadone in controlling pain after orthopaedic surgery in dog, although frequent pain assessments are recommended to adjust the analgesia plan.