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Does meloxicam provide adequate pain management as a post-operative analgesic in canine ovariohysterectomy patients?

02 May 2020
11 mins read
Volume 11 · Issue 4
Figure 1. Short form of the Glasgow composite pain scale. - (Today's Veterinary Practice, 2017)



Meloxicam is an analgesic agent with anti-inflammatory properties, commonly used in veterinary practices to treat a variety of different long-term medical conditions and is also used as a short-term pain relief following particularly traumatic surgeries.


An observational study was conducted to determine whether meloxicam provides adequate pain management as a post-operative analgesic for canine ovariohysterectomies.


13 canines were admitted for ovariohysterectomy. Each patient was assessed using the Glasgow composite pain scale (CMPS) prior to surgery during the admission procedure, 15 minutes post-operatively, at discharge and at their post-operative check (POC) 3–5 days after surgery.


Data were statistically analysed to determine the overall effectiveness of meloxicam in reducing pain following canine ovariohysterectomy. The results showed a statistically significant difference (Kruskal-Wallis test: H3 =12.98, p=0.005) in pain scores between admission, 15 minutes post operatively, discharge and 3–5 days POC. The greatest decrease in pain score was between 15 minutes post-operatively and POC (Mann-Whitney U test: W=236, n=13, 13, p=0.0014) and between discharge and POC (Mann-Whitney U test: W=227, n=13, 13, p=0.0060). Overall, this demonstrated that there was an improvement in pain suggesting meloxicam is effective between these time frames. In addition, 69.2% (n=9) of patients in the study showed a pain score of 0, indicating an absence of pain, on their final POC. Statistical analysis was also used to determine if there was any difference in pain score between the 3, 4 or 5 day POC pain score. The results show there was no significant difference (Kruskal-Wallis test: H2 =0.090, p=0.638) suggesting that meloxicam's effectiveness was similar across this range of time post surgery.


The results from the study indicate that meloxicam is an effective post-operative analgesic for canine patients undergoing an ovariohysterectomy.

Pain management remains a topic of conversation within veterinary medicine as being able to effectively manage pain requires registered veterinary nurses (RVNs) to use their skills and knowledge to help develop a suitable protocol for practice to protect patient welfare (Richmond, 2016). Weber et al (2012) state that the presence of pain is linked to numerous problems in patients including an extended wound healing process, inconsistent sleeping behaviour and compromises to the immune system. This demonstrates the importance of how analgesia and pain management are introduced into practice protocol, to ensure that both the patient's welfare is up-held, and their normal behaviour resumes (Murphy, 2016). Analgesic administration should be specific to each patient, for the purposes of improving pain relief while reducing the occurrence of side effects (Yamaoka and Auckburally, 2013). This research focuses on how effective meloxicam is as a post-operative analgesic in canine ovariohysterectomy patients By conducting an observational study to test each patient's response to treatment (Duke University, 2017) and comparing the results to current literature, the research aims to establish an in-depth analysis of meloxicam's effectiveness in canine ovariohysterectomy patients.

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