Drs. Hayley Gallaher, Tessa Adams, and Deborah Wilson are recruiting patients for a clinical trial comparing two types of local pain control following lateral thoracotomy in dogs. The trial offers a significant financial benefit to owners.

Why is MSU doing this trial?

A lateral thoracotomy (LT) is the most common approach to the thoracic cavity in dogs. This approach has been associated with severe post-operative pain in both humans and dogs. Reported sequelae to this discomfort include hypoxemia due to shallow breathing, restrictive breathing pattern, and decreased lung compliance, as well as shoulder discomfort and/or forelimb lameness.

Traditionally, analgesia following LT in dogs was heavily reliant on the use of injectable opioid medications, which has been associated with many negative side effects and prolonged hospitalization. Due to a desire to limit the use of opioids following LT, several regional analgesic techniques for post-operative pain control have been investigated. Two regional analgesic techniques which have been shown to provide effective pain relief in dogs are repeated administration of bupivacaine through a diffusion catheter and bupivacaine liposomal suspension (Nocita), but these two techniques have not been evaluated at managing post-operative pain following LT.

The goal of this study is to evaluate the potency of both repeated administration of bupivacaine through a diffusion catheter and one-time injection of bupivacaine liposomal suspension (Nocita) at providing post-operative analgesia 72 hours after LT in dogs and determine the most effective treatment.

Who is eligible for enrollment?
  • Any canine patient undergoing a lateral thoracotomy for any surgical procedure
  • Patient must be at least 5 months old and weigh >2 kg
  • Patient must be able to receive a non-steroidal anti-inflammatory (NSAID)
  • Patient must be able to stay in the hospital for at least 72 hours post-operatively
What will be expected of clients and patients?

Dogs will be hospitalized for pre-operative surgical monitoring, surgery including a lateral thoracotomy, and post-operative monitoring for 72 hours following surgery. While hospitalized following surgery, each dog will undergo repeated pain assessment to evaluate the effectiveness of both treatment options. Following discharge, no further rechecks are required through the study, but additional follow up may be recommended based on the underlying need for this surgical procedure.

When does trial enrollment open?

The trial is enrolling patients now through August 2024.

How do I enroll a patient?

Please contact Dr. Tessa Adams at adamste4@msu.edu or the MSU Soft Tissue Surgery service at sts@cvm.msu.edu or 517-353-5420.