Martin-Flores, M., Nugen, S. A., Boesch, J. M. et al. 2023. Low-dose epidural anesthesia decreases the use of intraoperative systemic analgesics in goats undergoing lower urinary tract surgery. Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association 261(8), 1147–1151.

OBJECTIVE To test whether the use of low-dose epidural anesthesia (EA) in goats undergoing lower urinary tract surgery reduces the requirements of perioperative analgesics, contributes to intraoperative hypotension, and improves postoperative comfort during the first 24 hours after surgery. ANIMALS Retrospective analysis of 38 goats between January 2019 and July 2022. PROCEDURES Goats were divided into 2 groups (EA or no EA). Demographic characteristics, surgical procedure, time of anesthesia, and anesthetic agents used were compared between treatment groups. Outcome variables potentially related to the use of EA included dose of inhalational anesthetics, incidence of hypotension (mean arterial pressure < 60 mm Hg), intraoperative and postoperative administration of morphine, and time to first meal after surgery. RESULTS EA (n = 21) consisted of bupivacaine or ropivacaine 0.1% to 0.2% with an opioid. There were no differences between groups except for age (EA group was younger). Less inhalational anesthetic (P = .03) and less intraoperative morphine (P = .008) were used in the EA group. The incidence of hypotension was 52% for EA and 58% for no EA (P = .691). Administration of postoperative morphine was not different between groups (EA, 67%, and no EA, 53%; P = .686). Time to first meal was 7.5 hours (3 to 18 hours) for EA and 11 hours (2 to 24 hours) for no EA (P = .057). CLINICAL RELEVANCE Low-dose EA reduced the use of intraoperative anesthetics/analgesics in goats undergoing lower urinary tract surgery without an increased incidence of hypotension. Postoperative morphine administration was not reduced.

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