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Investigating new ways to manage pain in dogs needing back surgery

Assessment of efficacy and opioid sparing ability of three standardized, postoperative analgesic protocols, including a novel use of the long-acting local anesthetic, NOCITA, following acute intervertebral disc herniation in canine patients.

Status: Recruiting

Species: Dog

Veterinary Speciality: Internal Medicine


  • Compare efficacy of two opioid-sparing post-operative analgesia protocols (Nocita + ketamine CRI + NSAID; Ketamine CRI + intermittent methadone + NSAID) with the industry standard opioid-dominant analgesic protocol (Fentanyl CRI + NSAID) following hemi-laminectomy in dogs after intervertebral disc herniation.
  • Assess the safety and efficacy of long-acting liposomal bupivacaine when infused following fascial closure, novel use in dogs.

Inclusion Criteria

Dogs undergoing thoracolumbar hemilaminectomy following an acute onset non-ambulatory paraparesis, or paraplegia, with intact nociception secondary to MRI-confirmed compressive intervertebral disc herniation of the thoracolumbar spine. These dogs must be 15kg or less and have undergone only one anesthetic incidence for their MRI and hemilaminectomy.

Exclusion Criteria

Dogs that are unable to tolerate an NSAID, unable to be hospitalized for a minimum of 48 hours, have a history of previous spinal pain or surgery, or have an underlying chronic disease/comorbidity are excluded from enrollment.

Client Benefits

If the liver biopsy results meet the criteria for entry into the study and a diet history survey is completed, plasma samples will be batched and shipped for analysis to the Amino Acid Laboratory at the University of California to measure the level of 28 common amino acids. These results will be available to client once they are available.

Contact Info

For questions regarding the clinical trial please email the clinical trials technician, Diane Welsh at:

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