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Can Vet J. 1996 September; 37(9): 552–556.
PMCID: PMC1576376

Factors influencing the postoperative use of analgesics in dogs and cats by Canadian veterinarians.


Four hundred and seventeen Canadian veterinarians were surveyed to determine their postoperative use of analgesics in dogs and cats following 6 categories of surgeries, and their opinion toward pain perception and perceived complications associated with the postoperative use of potent opioid analgesics. Three hundred and seventeen (76%) returned the questionnaire. An analgesic user was defined as a veterinarian who administers analgesics to at least 50% of dogs or 50% of cats following abdominal surgery, excluding ovariohysterectomy. The veterinarians responding exhibited a bimodal distribution of analgesic use, with 49.5% being defined as analgesic users. These veterinarians tended to use analgesics in 100% of animals following abdominal surgery. Veterinarians defined as analgesic nonusers rarely used postoperative analgesics following any abdominal surgery. Pain perception was defined as the average of pain rankings (on a scale of 1 to 10) following abdominal surgery, or the value for dogs or cats if the veterinarian worked with only 1 of the 2 species. Maximum concern about the risks associated with the postoperative use of potent opioid agonists was defined as the highest ranking assigned to any of the 7 risks evaluated in either dogs or cats. Logistic regression analysis identified the pain perception score and the maximum concern regarding the use of potent opioid agonists in the postoperative period as the 2 factors that distinguished analgesic users from analgesic nonusers. This model correctly classified 68% of veterinarians as analgesic users or nonusers. Linear regression analysis identified gender and the presence of an animal health technologist in the practice as the 2 factors that influenced pain perception by veterinarians. Linear regression analysis identified working with an animal health technologist, graduation within the past 10 years, and attendance at continuing education as factors that influenced maximum concern about the postoperative use of opioid agonists.

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  • Dohoo SE, Dohoo IR. Postoperative use of analgesics in dogs and cats by Canadian veterinarians. Can Vet J. 1996 Sep;37(9):546–551. [PMC free article] [PubMed]
  • Hansen B, Hardie E. Prescription and use of analgesics in dogs and cats in a veterinary teaching hospital: 258 cases (1983-1989) J Am Vet Med Assoc. 1993 May 1;202(9):1485–1494. [PubMed]

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