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Advancements in epidural anesthesia for small animals: a comprehensive literature review

Journal of Dairy, Veterinary & Animal Research
Bárbara de Paula Serrano,1 André Rinaldi Fukushima,2,3 Juliana Weckx Peña Muñoz,1,4 Fábia Luvisetto do Nascimento,4 Vinícius dos Santos Fernandes Conceição,4 Gabriel Ribeiro de Almeida,4 Cristiane Luchesi de Mello Morais,2 Fabio Futema5


Epidural anesthesia is a loco-regional blocking technique used to prevent and control pain in pathological processes and surgical procedures, widely used in veterinary medicine. The present work aims at performing a detailed literature review, preferably of the last twenty years, on the various aspects of this technique, including anatomy of the epidural space and peculiarities in small animals, pharmacology and toxicology of the main local anesthetics used, methods for identifying the epidural space, as well as recommended doses, indications, contraindications, and complications of the procedure. With the development of this literature review, it was found that the volume, concentration, and mass of local anesthetics, in addition to knowledge of anatomy and pharmacology of local anesthetics, plays a key role in the success of the technique. Moreover, it was noticed that, with the advent of ultrasonography, the identification of the epidural space is more accurate, compared to other methods. It was concluded that epidural anesthesia is a safe procedure, but not free of possible complications and side effects, as well as any anesthetic procedure. Therefore, it is essential to evaluate each case individually, always valuing the welfare of the patient.


regional anesthesia, neuroaxis, blockage, dogs, cats