Bovis ISSN 2398-2993

Epidural

Synonym(s): low epidural (for caudal), cranial epidural (for high)

Contributor(s): Karin Mueller , Alex Dugdale

University of Liverpool logo

Introduction

  • Regional anesthesia of the caudal body-half by epidural administration.
  • The dose of local anesthetic can be adjusted to produce either a caudal (low dose) or high epidural.
  • A caudal epidural using lidocaine HCl and / or Xylazine HCl provides regional anesthesia without loss of motor control of the hind limbs.

Uses

Caudal epidural

  • Obstetrical procedures (to prevent straining).
  • Castration.
  • Udder and teat surgery involving the caudal mammary glands.
  • Temporary interruption of tenesmus (eg in cases of coccidiosis) or defecation.
  • Analgesia and temporary interruption of straining after correction of vaginal or uterine prolapse.
  • Urethrotomy or urethrostomy.
  • Tail amputation.
  • Anal, perineal, vulvar and bladder examination and procedures.

High epidural

  • Surgery involving the soft tissues of the hindlimb (eg lacerations or tibial neurectomy).
  • Udder and teat surgery involving both the cranial and caudal mammary glands.
  • Laparotomy and umbilical hernia repair.

Advantages

  • Inexpensive and minimal equipment needs.
  • Reduced risk of side effects compared to general anesthesia.
  • Allows standing surgery (caudal epidural).
  • Minimal patient recovery time.

Disadvantages

  • Knowledge of the anatomical landmarks is required.
  • Occasionally, motor function of the hind limbs is lost resulting in ataxia or recumbency.
  • A high epidural will result in the patient becoming recumbent and carries the risk of compromised cardio-respiratory function.
    • Steps should be taken to ensure the surface beneath the animal is not slippery. Some operators prefer to place hobbles until the animal is standing to reduce the chance of it doing the splits.
  • A caudal epidural using agents other than lidocaine HCl or Xylazine HCl may result in marked ataxia and occasionally cardio-respiratory compromise.

Requirements

This article is available in full to registered subscribers

Sign up now to purchase a 30 day trial, or Login

Preparation

This article is available in full to registered subscribers

Sign up now to purchase a 30 day trial, or Login

Procedure

This article is available in full to registered subscribers

Sign up now to purchase a 30 day trial, or Login

Aftercare

This article is available in full to registered subscribers

Sign up now to purchase a 30 day trial, or Login

Outcomes

This article is available in full to registered subscribers

Sign up now to purchase a 30 day trial, or Login

Further Reading

Publications

Refereed Papers

  • Recent references from PubMed and VetMedResource.
  • Ismail Z B (2016) Epidural analgesia in cattle, buffalo and camels. Veterinary World 9 (12), 1450-1455 PubMed.

Other sources of information

  • Dugdale A (2011) Veterinary anaesthesia - Principles to practice. Wiley-Blackwell, pp 291-293.


ADDED