The Journal of small animal practice

A comparison between methadone and buprenorphine for perioperative analgesia in dogs undergoing ovariohysterectomy.

PMID 29781530


To investigate whether preoperative methadone provides superior perioperative analgesia compared to buprenorphine in dogs undergoing ovariohysterectomy. Eighty female dogs were recruited to an assessor-blinded, randomised, clinical trial. Dogs received a premedication dose of 0·05 mg/kg acepromazine or 10 μg/kg medetomidine combined with either 0·3 mg/kg methadone or 20 μg/kg buprenorphine intramuscularly. Anaesthesia was induced with propofol and maintained with isoflurane. Pain was assessed using two scoring schemes (a dynamic interactive visual analogue scale and the short form of the Glasgow Composite Pain Scale) before premedication, 30 minutes later and every hour for 8 hours after premedication. If indicated, rescue analgesia was provided with methadone. Meloxicam was administered after the final assessment. The area under the curve for change in pain scores over time and the requirement for rescue analgesia were compared between groups. Groups premedicated with buprenorphine had significantly higher pain scores than those premedicated with methadone. There was no interaction between opioid and sedative for any outcome measure. Rescue analgesia was required by significantly more dogs premedicated with buprenorphine (45%) than that of methadone (20%). At the doses investigated, methadone produced superior postoperative analgesia compared to buprenorphine in dogs undergoing ovariohysterectomy.