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Metzner, Moritz; Behrendt-Wippermann, Magdalena; Baumgartner, Christine; Feist, Melanie; Thaden, Anne von; Rieger, Anna and Knubben-Schweizer, Gabriela (2020): Use of metamizole as an additional analgesic during umbilical surgery in calves. In: Veterinary Anaesthesia and Analgesia, Vol. 47, No. 5: pp. 710-719

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Objective: To investigate the effect of metamizole on physiologic variables in calves undergoing surgical extirpation of the navel during anaesthesia using xylazine, ketamine and isoflurane. Study design Double-blind, randomized trial. Animals A total of 26 calves. Methods Calves with uncomplicated umbilical hernias and otherwise clinically healthy were randomly allocated to one of two groups: the control group (CG) and metamizole group (MG). All calves were administered meloxicam (0.5 mg kg(-1)) intravenously (IV) 150 minutes before skin incision (SI). Animals were premeditated with xylazine (0.2 mg kg(-1)) intramuscularly 50 minutes before SI. Anaesthesia was induced with ketamine (2 mg kg(-1)) IV 30 minutes before SI and maintained with isoflurane in oxygen. MG calves were given metamizole (40 mg kg(-1)) IV 60 minutes before SI. CG calves were administered an equivalent volume of saline. Heart rate (HR) and mean arterial blood pressure (MAP) were recorded from 5 minutes before SI until the end of anaesthesia (60 minutes after SI). Blood samples for determination of the plasma cortisol concentration (PCC) were drawn 60 minutes before SI and at 5, 30, 60, 150, and 510 minutes after SI. Results In both groups, PCC increased during surgery and decreased after surgery. PCC was consistently lower in MG than in CG and was significantly (p = 0.0026) lower at 150 minutes after SI in the MG. Overall, the mean PCC in MG was 10.9 nmol L-1 lower than that in CG (p = 0.01). In both groups, HR decreased during anaesthesia, whereas MAP increased, albeit with no statistically significant (p > 0.05) differences between groups. Conclusions and clinical relevance: Our study results suggest that a single preoperative dose of metamizole may have a positive impact on intra- and immediate postoperative analgesia by reducing PCC when used as an indicator of nociception.

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