RESEARCH PAPER| Volume 48, ISSUE 1, P116-124, January 2021

The effect of erector spinae plane block on perioperative analgesic consumption and complications in dogs undergoing hemilaminectomy surgery: a retrospective cohort study

Published:November 02, 2020DOI:



      To compare the perioperative use of analgesics and complication rates in dogs administered an erector spinae plane (ESP) block or a traditional opioid-based (OP) treatment as part of analgesic management during hemilaminectomy.

      Study design

      Retrospective cohort study.


      Medical records of 114 client-owned dogs.


      General data included demographics, duration of procedure, number of laminae fenestrated, perioperative use of steroid and non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs. Intra- and postoperative analgesics used in 48 hours and complications rates were compared between groups. Opioid use was expressed in morphine equivalents [ME (mg kg−1)]. Continuous data were compared using the Mann–Whitney U test and incidence of events with a Fisher's exact tests. Multiple linear regression was used to evaluate association between perioperative ME consumption (dependent variable) with other independent variables. Data are presented as median (range). Differences were considered significant when p < 0.05.


      Group ESP comprised 42 dogs and group OP 72 dogs. No differences were observed in the general data. Intraoperative ME was 0.65 (0.20–3.74) and 0.79 (0.19–5.60) mg kg−1 in groups ESP and OP, respectively (p = 0.03). Intraoperative infusion of lidocaine was administered intravenously (IV) to 23.8% and 68% of groups ESP and OP, respectively (p < 0.0001). Intraoperative infusion of ketamine was administered IV to 21% and 40% of groups ESP and OP, respectively (p = 0.04). Regression analysis revealed the ESP block as the only independent variable affecting the perioperative ME consumption. Pharmacological intervention to treat cardiovascular complications was administered to 21.4% and 47.2% of dogs in groups ESP and OP, respectively (p = 0.008). There were no differences in postoperative complication rates.

      Conclusions and clinical relevance

      ESP block was associated with reduced perioperative opioid consumption, intraoperative adjuvant analgesic use and incidence of pharmacological interventions to treat cardiovascular complications in dogs undergoing hemilaminectomy.


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