Straticò, P., Varasano, V., Suriano, R. et al. 2018. Analgesic effects of intravenous flunixin and intrafunicular lidocaine or their combination for castration of lambs. Veterinary Record Open 5(1), e000266.
Objective: To analyse the effectiveness of intrafunicular lidocaine and intravenous flunixin for reducing pain and signs of stress in lambs undergoing surgical castration. Design: Randomised controlled trial. Setting: One university teaching hospital in Italy. Participants: 30 healthy male lambs, 9–12 weeks old. Intervention: Allocation to five groups: a control group (C), undergoing general anaesthesia but not castration; a surgery group (S), undergoing orchiectomy without analgesic treatment; a surgery-lidocaine group (SL), undergoing orchiectomy and receiving intrafunicular 2 per cent lidocaine solution; a surgery-flunixin group (SF), undergoing orchiectomy and receiving intravenous flunixin; a surgery-flunixin-lidocaine group (SFL), undergoing orchiectomy and receiving both intrafunicular lidocaine and intravenous flunixin. Main outcome measures: Nociception and stress were assessed through intraoperative indicators, serum cortisol concentration, glycaemia, behaviour, immune response and clinical evaluation of the heart rate (HR), respiratory rate and rectal temperature after surgery. Results: Groups S and SL showed increased values of intraoperative HR, mean arterial pressure and postoperative cortisol concentration. In group SFL, cortisol values were similar to those of group C. No other difference could be detected. Conclusions: The combination of intravenous flunixin and intrafunicular lidocaine reduced the pain and discomfort of lambs castrated under general anaesthesia. Intrafunicular lidocaine alone did not prevent pain or discomfort associated with castration.