Effects of tramadol alone, in combination with meloxicam or dipyrone, on postoperative pain and the analgesic requirement in dogs undergoing unilateral mastectomy with or without ovariohysterectomy

Vet Anaesth Analg. 2013 Nov;40(6):641-9. doi: 10.1111/vaa.12080. Epub 2013 Aug 5.


Objective: To compare the effects of tramadol alone, or in combination with dipyrone or meloxicam, on postoperative pain and analgesia requirement after unilateral mastectomy with or without ovariohysterectomy in dogs.

Study design: Prospective, randomized, clinical study.

Animals: Twenty seven bitches undergoing unilateral mastectomy with or without ovariohysterectomy.

Methods: Anesthesia was induced with propofol and maintained with isoflurane and a constant rate infusion of morphine. Before the end of surgery, dogs were randomly assigned to receive intravenous tramadol alone (3 mg kg(-1), group T), combined with dipyrone (30 mg kg(-1), group TD) or meloxicam (0.2 mg kg(-1), group TM). Dogs received additional doses of tramadol (groups T and TM) or tramadol with dipyrone (group TD) at 8 and 16 hours after extubation. Postoperative pain was assessed by a blinded observer before anesthesia (baseline) and at 1, 2, 3, 4, 6, 8, 12, 16 and 24 hours after extubation using a visual analog scale (VAS) and a modified Glasgow scale. Rescue analgesia (morphine, 0.5 mg kg(-1)) was administered if the Glasgow pain score was >3.5.

Results: There were no significant differences among groups in pain scores evaluated by the VAS or the Glasgow scale. In groups T, TD and TM, pain scores were significantly higher than at baseline for 6, 8 and 2 hours, respectively. Rescue analgesia was administered to 3/9, 2/9 and 1/9 dogs in groups T, TD and TM, respectively (p > 0.05) [Correction added on 15 August 2013, after first online publication: 'T, TM and TD' was changed to 'T, TD and TM'.].

Conclusions and clinical relevance: Under the conditions of this study, tramadol alone or in combination with dypyrone or meloxicam provided effective analgesia for 24 hours in most dogs after unilateral mastectomy with or without ovariohysterectomy. Further evaluation of combination therapies is needed in larger groups of dogs.

Keywords: analgesia; dipyrone; dogs; metamizole; nonsteroidal anti‐inflammatory drugs; tramadol.

Publication types

  • Randomized Controlled Trial
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Analgesia / methods
  • Analgesia / veterinary*
  • Analgesics, Opioid / administration & dosage*
  • Animals
  • Anti-Inflammatory Agents, Non-Steroidal / administration & dosage*
  • Dipyrone / administration & dosage*
  • Dogs
  • Drug Therapy, Combination
  • Female
  • Hysterectomy / veterinary*
  • Mastectomy / veterinary*
  • Meloxicam
  • Ovariectomy / veterinary*
  • Pain Measurement / veterinary
  • Pain, Postoperative / drug therapy*
  • Thiazines / administration & dosage*
  • Thiazoles / administration & dosage*
  • Tramadol / administration & dosage*


  • Analgesics, Opioid
  • Anti-Inflammatory Agents, Non-Steroidal
  • Thiazines
  • Thiazoles
  • Tramadol
  • Dipyrone
  • Meloxicam