Dry-needle acupuncture performed prior to surgery helps to decrease perioperative analgesic use and to may improve the quality of perioperative analgesia in dogs undergoing thoracolumbar hemilaminectomy for intervertebral disc extrusion (IVDE)
Journal citation

Machin H, Taylor-Brown F, Adami C (2020)
Use of acupuncture as adjuvant analgesic technique in dogs undergoing thoracolumbar hemilaminectomy
Veterinary Journal; 264: 105536
Abstract

Published October 2020

Type of study
  • Randomised controlled trial
  • n = 24 dogs
Key points
  • Dogs undergoing hemilaminectomy for IVDE
  • 30 minutes before incision acupuncture was performed in the treatment group
  • Pain assessments were performed under anaesthesia using heart rate and blood pressure measurements, and both pre- and post-operatively using 3 pain scales; the Glasgow composite pain scale (GCPS), the Colorado pain scale (CPS) and the Visual analogue scale (VAS)
  • All dogs received methadone as part of their premedication
  • Rescue analgesia was provided with fentanyl when required
  • The treatment group required less perioperative analgesia

Limitations

  • The anaesthetist in charge of administering the rescue fentanyl analgesia was not blinded
  • Study used different surgeons which introduced a further variable
Conclusions
  • Dry needle acupuncture performed before surgery helps to decrease perioperative analgesia requirements in dogs undergoing thoracolumbar hemilaminectomy for IVDE