Continuous extradural analgesia in a cow with complex regional pain syndrome


      A chronic pain syndrome, similar to the complex regional pain syndrome (CRPS) described in human beings, was diagnosed in a cow with persisting severe pelvic limb lameness. Diagnosis was based on the disproportionate relationship between the severity and duration of pain and the lesion, the failure of conventional analgesic and surgical therapy and the presence of characteristic clinical features. Multimodal therapy, i.e. a mixture of methadone, ketamine and bupivacaine was administered continuously for 17 days via an extradural catheter to counteract nociceptive hypersensitization. Doses were adjusted daily after assessing the effect, using a composite pain score. Physiotherapy was also performed. The diagnosis of CRPS in cattle is unusual. In this case, treatment was successful and the cow was discharged mildly lame and in improving physical condition. Long-term extradural analgesia proved to be safe and effective in the treatment of this syndrome, which was nonresponsive to conventional therapy.


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