Epidurals can be used to administer analgesia to the caudal half of the body. Administration of analgesics into the epidural space provides decreased sensory and sympathetic pain. Opiods, phenocyclidines, α-agonists or non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs may be injected during epidural analgesia. Epidural anaesthesia is the injection of a local anaesthetic for complete motor blockade. Epidurals are used for caesarean sections, thoracostomy, pelvic or hind limb orthopaedic manipulations, amputations, abdominal procedures, tail or perineal procedures, diaphragmatic repair, pancreatitis, peritonitis and intervertebral disc disease (IVDD). Epidurals provide long lasting, quick onset of analgesia with few systemic side effects for medical surgical pain. It is also used as an alternative to general anaesthesia in animals that are high risk. Epidurals are performed at the lumbosacral junction as the spinal cord terminates cranial to this junction.
REFERENCE: Côte, E (ed) 2007, ‘Clinical veterinary advisor : dogs and cats’, Mosby Elsevier, St. Louis, pp. 1238-1239.
Metadata assigned by Dr. M. van Schoor, Senior Lecturer, Dept. of Companion Animal Clinical Studies