Evaluation of postoperative pain and toxicological aspects of the use of dipyrone and tramadol in cats

J Feline Med Surg. 2020 Jun;22(6):467-475. doi: 10.1177/1098612X19849969. Epub 2019 May 21.


Objectives: The aim of this study was to evaluate the effects of dipyrone and tramadol, used for 5 days, on postoperative pain, hematological and biochemical parameters, and oxidative markers on erythrocytes.

Methods: Twenty-eight healthy cats underwent ovariohysterectomy and were randomly allocated to four groups (each n = 7), according to the postoperative treatment administered intravenously: control (saline 1 ml q8h), DIP1 (dipyrone 25 mg/kg q24h), DIP2 (dipyrone 25 mg/kg q12h) and DIP3 (dipyrone 25 mg/kg q8h). All animals received tramadol (2 mg/kg q8h). Pain was assessed by visual analog (VAS), multidimensional UNESP and Glasgow pain scales for cats preoperatively and at 3, 6, 12, 24, 36 and 48 h after extubation. Venous blood was collected daily for 5 days, and on day 10, to perform a complete blood count (CBC) and determine the percentage of Heinz bodies (HBs). Serum biochemistry was evaluated preoperatively and on days 5 and 10; superoxide dismutase (SOD), catalase (CAT), myeloperoxidase (MPO) and lipoperoxidation were evaluated preoperatively and on days 3, 5 and 10.

Results: Control cats had higher pain scores than DIP3 cats by UNESP (P = 0.0065), and DIP2 (P = 0.0035) and DIP3 cats (P = 0.0108) by VAS 3 h postoperatively. Rescue analgesia was required by two animals in the control group and one each in the DIP1 and DIP2 groups. There was no difference in SOD or CAT among groups. On day 5, MPO was more active in DIP2 than in DIP3 cats (P = 0.0274). No difference in lipoperoxidation among treatment and control cats was found. CBC remained constant and without statistical difference among groups. Control, DIP2 and DIP3 cats presented a similar percentage of HBs on day 10. Biochemical variables were similar among groups and times.

Conclusions and relevance: The administration of dipyrone in cats, when used in combination with tramadol, did not ensure better analgesia than tramadol alone. Dipyrone did not significantly affect biochemical variables and oxidative markers, despite minimal, clinically irrelevant, hematological differences between groups.

Keywords: Metamizole; erythrocyte oxidation; hematological effects; tramadol.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Administration, Intravenous / veterinary
  • Analgesics / administration & dosage*
  • Analgesics, Opioid / administration & dosage
  • Animals
  • Cats
  • Dipyrone / administration & dosage*
  • Erythrocytes
  • Female
  • Hematologic Tests / veterinary*
  • Hysterectomy / veterinary*
  • Oxidative Stress
  • Pain Management / veterinary*
  • Pain, Postoperative / drug therapy*
  • Random Allocation
  • Tramadol / administration & dosage*


  • Analgesics
  • Analgesics, Opioid
  • Tramadol
  • Dipyrone