Anaesthesia and analgesia for dogs and cats in South Africa undergoing sterilisation and with osteoarthritis – An update from 2000

Monday, November 3rd, 2014 - 1:12 pm

Abstract: A survey was conducted in 2000 into the use of analgesic drugs by veterinarians in South Africa. This survey was repeated in 2005 to establish whether the use of analgesic drugs has increased and which analgesic drugs are being used for acute pain and osteoarthritis. The number of sterilisations performed and the number of new cases of osteoarthritis in dogs and cats was estimated. It is estimated that approximately 260 000 cats are operated on each year in South Africa and that 150 000 cats are sterilised.

Five hundred thousand dogs undergo surgery, of which 242 000 are sterilised. It appears that the number of surgical procedures performed in South Africa has decreased. The estimated death rate following anaesthesia has remained unchanged at 1:1004. Overall, the use of analgesics by South African veterinarians has increased significantly. Fifty-six per cent of cats and 74%of dogs were given peri-operative analgesics but this increased to 94 % and 84 % after including pre-anaesthetic medications with analgesic properties. The use of opioids (morphine and buprenorphine) and propofol has increased significantly. Approximately 253 000 dogs and 33 000 cats with osteoarthritis are seen by veterinarians in SouthAfrica annually.

The recognition by veterinarians of osteoarthritis in cats appears to be poor and is in need of attention. Carprofen and glucosamine/chondroitin are the most commonly used agents for the treatment of osteoarthritis. Details of the drugs used by veterinarians are given. Knowledge of analgesic drugs has increased significantly over the last 5 years. Continuing education is thought to have played an important role in the changes reported in this study.

Download the PDF to read the complete study.