The Modern Equine Vet
April 2024
Vol 14 Issue 4 2024
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News Notes

IV Flunixin Meglumine May Be Good Choice for Lengthy Donkey Surgery

Intravenous flunixin meglumine may be a good choice over phenylbutazone (PBZ) for donkey long-er surgeries, according to a recent study that compared the 2 treatments.

When treating visceral and musculoskeletal pain in horses, flunixin meglumine and PBZ are typically selected. However, there is little information to support their use in donkeys. The researchers wanted to better understand the postoperative outcomes in a group of jennies treated with either IV flunixin meglumine or oral PBZ following unilateral ovariectomies by standing left flank laparotomy.

Data from the medical records of 14 ovariectomised jennies were collected. They looked at case details, weight, nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID) protocol, surgery duration, operative sequence, anaesthesia protocol, physical examination findings and outcomes. Postoperative adverse events (AEs) were defined as fever, tachycardia, tachypnoea, inappetence, altered mentation, abnormal oral mucous membranes, bruxism, colic, incisional complications, such as drainage and edema, as well as mortality.

They then stratified the AEs by occurring early (≤24 h) or late (>24 h) in the postoperative period.

The 14 donkeys either received either PBZ, 2.2 mg/kg IV pre-op, then 2.2 mg/kg oral twice daily (BID) for 3 days postop or flunixin, 1.1 mg/kg IV pre-op and 1.1 mg/kg IV BID for 3 days postop.

In 8 out of 14 donkeys, PBZ treatment was associated with significantly more total early and late AEs than flunixin (odds ratio [OR] 3.01, confidence interval [CI] 1.87–4.84 and OR 2.69, CI 1.28–5.63). The most frequently reported AEs were tachycardia, tachypnoea, altered mentation, altered mucous membranes, incisional edema and incisional pain. Although rare, 2 donkeys in the PBZ group had colic and 1 died.

Donkeys were more likely to show abnormal physiologic parameters, changes in behavior and incisional discomfort when receiving PBZ than flunixin-treated jennies. MeV

For more information:

Xue C. Segabinazzi L, Hall A, et al. A retrospective comparison of postoperative outcomes in ovariectomised jennies (Equus asinus) treated with phenylbutazone or flunixin meglumine. Equine Vet J. 2024. https://doi.org/10.1111/evj.14082