Stiftung Tierärztliche Hochschule Hannover (TiHo)TiHo eLib

Comparative study of pain-related responses of male piglets up to seven days of age to the application of different local anaesthetics and subsequent castration

To evaluate pain responses to intratesticular and subscrotal injection of three local anaesthetics and their efficacy during castration a randomized controlled study was conducted. In groups of 20 piglets, procaine (2%), lidocaine (2%), or mepivacaine (2%) were administered subscrotal and intratesticularly in two different dosages: 0.5 mL of the original substances or the maximum recommended dosage according to body weight diluted with isotonic saline to a volume of 0.3 mL per each injection site. Two placebo groups received the equivalent volume of isotonic saline. A control group was injected intramuscularly with 0.5 mL isotonic saline for injection pain comparison. Electroencephalographic changes, respiratory rate, heart rate and its variability, blood pressure, and nocifensive movements were assessed in superficial isoflurane anaesthesia. While EEG-changes and linear measures of heart rate variability did not appear conclusive, the low frequency/high frequency (LF/HF) ratio corresponded best with the other pain indicators recorded. The injection of 0.3 mL diluted local anaesthetic per injection site elicited significant fewer signs of pain compared to intramuscular injection of saline. However, pain reduction, but not complete pain elimination, during castration could only be achieved with 0.5 mL of the 2% local anaesthetics per injection site, whereby lidocaine and mepivacaine were the most effective.

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