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Routes and doses of lignocaine hydrochloride for analgesia of the velvet antler of stags

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AIM: To evaluate the effectiveness of various routes of administration and doses of local anaesthetic to provide analgesia of the velvet antler of young stags.

METHODS: In study 1, in which an electrical stimulus was used, 64 l-year-old male red and red X wapiti deer with velvet antler lo-30 cm long, were randomly allocated to one of ten treatments with four treatments/animal, and 23 or 24 antlers/treatment. Treatments delivered included three control groups, three local anaesthetic (2% lignocaine HCL) doses delivered by ring block (5, 10 or 15 ml per pedicle), and a “high” or “low” regional block with or without an auriculopalpebral nerve block (5 ml per site). An electrical stimulus was applied before and 1,2,4 and 8 minutes after local anaesthetic treatments and to controls, at an increasing voltage until a response was observed. The voltage and animal responses were recorded. In Study 2 the same seven local anaesthetic treatments (16-I 8 antlers/treatment) were evaluated using 58 of the stags from Study 1 when antlers were ready for removal, but a saw cut was used as the test stimulus. A test cut was applied to the antler I,2 and 4 minutes after application of local anaesthetic. If no response was observed, the antler was removed at that time.

RESULTS: In Study 1, major dose and treatment effects were significantly different (p < 0.05) with the outcome variable being whether or not the deer responded. No stags given the “high” dose ring block responded to electrical stimulation 1 minute after treatment, one responded at 2 minutes, and none responded at 4 or 8 minutes. At least one animal responded after all other treatments at all time intervals. More deer responded after the “low” regional block than the “high” regional block, and there was a lower response rate when the auriculopalpebral nerves were anaesthetised. In Study 2, no deer responded 2 minutes after the “medium” dose ring block treatment. Three of 18 stags receiving the “high” dose ring block still responded after 2 minutes, and one responded after 4 minutes. Responses occurred to all other treatments at each time, with some deer requiring further administration of local anaesthetic before antler removal, even with the four minute waiting period.

CONCLUSION: Ring blocks produced more consistent analgesia of the velvet antler than regional nerve blocks. The “high” dose ring block produced analgesia faster and more effectively than lower doses, and the regional nerve blocks were more effective when the auriculopalpebral nerve was blocked.

KEY WORDS: Deer, velvet antler, antler removal, local anaesthesia, ring block, regional block, electrical stimulation.
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Keywords: Anaesthesia/analgesia; Deer; Surgery

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: 01 October 1999

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