A comparison of subarachnoid buprenorphine or xylazine as an adjunct to lidocaine for analgesia in goats

  • Francesco Staffieri
    Francesco Staffieri, Università di Bari, D.E.T.O., Sezione di Chirurgia Veterinaria, Strada Provinciale per Casamassima Km 3, 70010 Valenzano (Bari), Italy
    Dipartimento dell’Emergenza e dei Trapianti di Organi (D.E.T.O.), Sezione di Chirurgia Veterinaria, Facoltà di Medicina Veterinaria, Università degli Studi di Bari Valenzano (Bari), Italy

    Department of Clinical Studies, New Bolton Center, University of Pennsylvania, School of Veterinary Medicine, Kennett Square, PA, USA
    Search for articles by this author
  • Bernd Driessen
    Department of Clinical Studies, New Bolton Center, University of Pennsylvania, School of Veterinary Medicine, Kennett Square, PA, USA

    Department of Anesthesiology, University of California-Los Angeles, David Geffen School of Medicine, Los Angeles, CA, USA
    Search for articles by this author
  • Luca Lacitignola
    Dipartimento dell’ Scienze Cliniche Veterinarie, Sezione di Chirurgia Veterinaria, Facoltà di Medicina Veterinaria, Università degli Studi di Teramo, Teramo, Italy
    Search for articles by this author
  • Antonio Crovace
    Dipartimento dell’Emergenza e dei Trapianti di Organi (D.E.T.O.), Sezione di Chirurgia Veterinaria, Facoltà di Medicina Veterinaria, Università degli Studi di Bari Valenzano (Bari), Italy
    Search for articles by this author



      To test the hypothesis that subarachnoid administration of buprenorphine and lidocaine provides more intense and longer lasting perioperative analgesia with less side effects than xylazine and lidocaine in goats.

      Study design

      Randomized, blinded, controlled study.
      Study animals Ten healthy female goats randomly assigned to two groups of five animals each.


      After sedation with acepromazine (0.1 mg kg−1) intravenously (IV), lidocaine 2% (0.1 mL kg−1) combined with either xylazine (0.05 mg kg−1; Group X) or buprenorphine (0.005 mg kg−1; Group B) were injected intrathecally at the lumbo-sacral junction prior to stifle surgery. Electrocardiogram, heart rate, direct systolic, mean, and diastolic arterial blood pressures, rectal temperature and arterial blood gases were recorded as were post-operative sedation and pain scores using a visual analogue and numeric rating scale, respectively. Data were analyzed with one-way anova for repeated measures, one-way anova, Friedman's and Kruskal–Wallis tests as necessary (p< 0.05).


      Surgery was successfully performed under both analgesia protocols. Total pain and sedation scores were significantly lower in the B as compared with X group from 3–24 hours and 30–120 minutes, respectively after subarachnoid drug administration (SDA). Heart rate and arterial blood pressures decreased post SDA and were consistently lower in X versus B (p< 0.05). In B arterial blood gas parameters did not change post SDA, but in group X PaCO2 increased slightly within 15 minutes of SDA and remained elevated for at least 3 hours (p< 0.05).


      In these goats intrathecal administration of buprenorphine and lidocaine produced more profound and longer lasting analgesia with less sedation and hemodynamic and respiratory impairment than xylazine with lidocaine.

      Clinical relevance

      In these goats undergoing hind limb surgery, subarachnoid buprenorphine/lidocaine offered more intense and longer lasting analgesia than a xylazine/lidocaine combination, with less sedation and impairment of cardiopulmonary function.
      To read this article in full you will need to make a payment

      Purchase one-time access:

      Academic & Personal: 24 hour online accessCorporate R&D Professionals: 24 hour online access
      One-time access price info
      • For academic or personal research use, select 'Academic and Personal'
      • For corporate R&D use, select 'Corporate R&D Professionals'


      Subscribe to Veterinary Anaesthesia and Analgesia
      Already a print subscriber? Claim online access
      Already an online subscriber? Sign in
      Institutional Access: Sign in to ScienceDirect


        • Aminkov BY
        • Dinev D
        • Pascalev M
        The antinociceptive and cardiopulmonary effects of extradural fentanyl-xylazine in sheep.
        Vet Anaesth Analg. 2002; 29: 126-132
        • Bernards CM
        Understanding the physiology and pharmacology of epidural and intrathecal opioids.
        Best Pract Res Cl Anaesthesiol. 2002; 16: 489-505
        • Bryant RM
        • Olley JE
        • Tyers MB
        Antinociceptive actions of morphine and buprenorphine given intrathecally in the conscious rat.
        Br J Pharm. 1983; 78: 659-663
        • Cahill J
        • Murphy D
        • O’Brien D
        • et al.
        Epidural buprenorphine for pain relief after major abdominal surgery. A controlled comparison with epidural morphine.
        Anaesthesia. 1983; 38: 760-764
        • Carroll GL
        • Hartsfield SM
        • Champney TH
        • et al.
        Effect of medetomidine and its antagonism with atipamezole on stress-related hormones, metabolites, physiologic responses, sedation, and mechanical threshold in goats.
        Vet Anaesth Analg. 2005; 32: 147-157
        • Chiari A
        • Eisenach JC
        Spinal anesthesia: mechanisms, agents, methods, and safety.
        Reg Anesth Pain Med. 1998; 23: 357-362
        • De Rossi R
        • Junqueira AL
        • Beretta MP
        Analgesic and systemic effects of ketamine, xylazine, and lidocaine after subarachnoid administration in goats.
        Am J Vet Res. 2003; 64: 51-56
        • Eisenach JC
        • Yong C
        Site of hemodynamic effects of intrathecal α2-adrenergic agonists.
        Anesthesiology. 1991; 74: 76-771
        • Eisenach JC
        • De Klock M
        • Klimscha W
        α2-Adrenergic agonists for regional anesthesia: a clinical review of clonidine (1984–1995).
        Anesthesiology. 1996; 85: 655-674
        • Fürst S
        Transmitters involved in antinociception in the spinal cord.
        Brain Res Bull. 1999; 48: 129-141
        • Goodchild CS
        • Guo Z
        • Davies A
        • et al.
        Antinociceptive actions of intrathecal xylazine: interactions with spinal cord opioid pathways.
        Br J Anaesth. 1996; 76: 544-551
        • Gratadour P
        • Viale JP
        • Parlow J
        • et al.
        Sympathovagal effects of spinal anesthesia assessed by the spontaneous cardiac baroreflex.
        Anesthesiology. 1997; 87: 1359-1367
        • Gundersen RY
        • Andersen R
        • Narved G
        Postoperative pain relief with high-dose epidural buprenorphine: a doubled-blind study.
        Acta Anaesth Scand. 1986; 30: 664-667
        • Haerdi-Landerer MC
        • Schlegel U
        • Neiger-Aeschbacher G
        The analgesic effects of intrathecal xylazine and detomidine in sheep and their antagonism with systemic atipamezole.
        Vet Anaesth Analg. 2005; 32: 297-307
        • Horlocker TT
        • Wedel DJ
        Density, specific gravity and baricity of spinal anaesthetic solutions at body temperature.
        Anesth Analg. 1993; 76: 1015-1018
        • Jones RS
        A review of tranquillization and sedation in large animals.
        Vet Rec. 1972; 90: 613-617
        • Kästner SBR
        α2-Agonists in sheep: a review.
        Vet Anaesth Analg. 2006; 33: 79-96
        • Khan FA
        • Hamdami GA
        Comparison of intrathecal fentanyl and buprenorphine in urological surgery.
        JPMA. 2006; 56: 277-281
        • Kinjavdekar P
        • Singh T
        • Amarpal-Singh R
        • et al.
        Physiologic and biochemical effects of subarachnoidally administered xylazine and medetomidine in goats.
        Small Ruminant Res. 2000; 38: 217-228
        • Ko JCH
        • Thurmon JC
        • Benson JG
        • et al.
        Evaluation of analgesia induced by epidural injection of detomidine or xylazine in swine.
        J Vet Anaesth. 1992; 19: 56-60
        • Lanz E
        • Simko G
        • Theiss D
        • et al.
        Epidural buprenorphine – A double-blind study of postoperative analgesia and side effects.
        Anesth Analg. 1984; 63: 593-598
        • LeBlanc PH
        • Caron JP
        • Patterson JS
        • et al.
        Epidural injection of xylazine for perineal analgesia in horses.
        J Am Vet Med Assoc. 1988; 193: 1405-1408
        • Linderoth B
        • Foreman RD
        Physiology of spinal cord stimulation: review and update.
        Neuromodulation. 1999; 2: 150-164
        • Morimoto K
        • Nishimura R
        • Matsunaga S
        • et al.
        Epidural analgesia with a combination of bupivacaine and buprenorphine in rats.
        J Vet Med A. 2001; 48: 303-312
        • Mpanduji DG
        • Mgasa MN
        • Bittegeko SB
        • et al.
        Comparison of xylazine and lidocaine effects for analgesia and cardiopulmonary functions following lumbosacral epidural injection in goats.
        J Vet Med A. 1999; 46: 605-611
        • Mpanduji DG
        • Bittegeko SB
        • Batamuzi EK
        • et al.
        Comparison of the effects of atipamezole and telazoline on analgesia, cardiopulmonary and rectal temperature changes induced by lumbosacral epidural injection of medetomidine in goats.
        Small Ruminant Res. 2001; 41: 17-122
        • Omote K
        • Ohmori H
        • Kawamata M
        • et al.
        Intrathecal buprenorphine in the treatment of phantom limb pain.
        Anesth Analg. 1995; 80: 1030-1032
        • Paqueron X
        • Li X
        • Bantel C
        • et al.
        An obligatory role for spinal cholinergic neurons in the antiallodynic effects of clonidine after peripheral nerve injury.
        Anesthesiology. 2001; 94: 1074-1081
        • Pearce AI
        • Richards RG
        • Milz S
        • et al.
        Animal models for implant biomaterial research in bone: a review.
        Eur Cell Mater. 2007; 13: 1-10
        • Shafford HL
        • Hellyer PW
        • Turner AS
        Intra-articular lidocaine plus bupivacaine in sheep undergoing stifle arthrotomy.
        Vet Anaesth Analg. 2004; 31: 20-26
        • Skarda RT
        • Tranquilli WJ
        Local and regional anesthetic and analgesic techniques: ruminants and swine.
        in: Tranquilli WJ Thurmon JC Grimm KA Lumb and Jones’ Veterinary Anesthesia and Analgesia. 4th edn. Blackwell Publishing, Ames2007: 643-681
        • Tejwani GA
        • Rattan AK
        The role of spinal opioid receptors in antinociceptive effects produced by intrathecal administration of hydromorphone and buprenorphine in the rat.
        Anesth Analg. 2002; 94: 1542-1546
        • Tibirica E
        • Feldman J
        • Mermet C
        • et al.
        An imidazoline-specific mechanism for the hypotensive effect of clonidine: a study with yohimbine and idazoxan.
        J Pharmacol Exp Ther. 1991; 256: 606-613
        • Waterman A
        • Livingston A
        • Bouchenafa O
        Analgesic effects of intrathecally applied α2-adrenoceptor agonists in conscious, unrestrained sheep.
        Neuropharmacology. 1988; 27: 213-216
        • Waterman AE
        • Livingston A
        • Min A
        Further studies on the antinociceptive activity and respiratory effects of buprenorphine in sheep.
        J Vet Pharmacol Therap. 1991; 14: 230-234
        • Wolff J
        • Registrar PC
        • Crawford ME
        Epidural buprenorphine for postoperative analgesia. A controlled comparison with epidural morphine.
        Anesthesia. 1986; 46: 77-79