The Outcomes of an Opioid-Free Anaesthetic Plan in Fourteen Dogs Undergoing Enucleation Using an Ultrasound-Guided Supra-Temporal Retrobulbar Block: A Retrospective Case Series

Animals (Basel). 2023 Jun 22;13(13):2059. doi: 10.3390/ani13132059.


The objective of this retrospective case series is to report the outcomes of an opioid-free anesthetic plan in dogs undergoing enucleation surgery. A total of 14 dogs were admitted for enucleation between March and December 2020. A multimodal approach to perioperative analgesia was used, with a focus on retrobulbar anesthesia. A combination of an ultrasound-guided retrobulbblock with a supratemporal approach in association with ketamine, dexmedetomidine and non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs was used in the reported cases. Intraoperative nociception was defined as an increase of 20% from the baseline in one or more of the following parameters: heart rate, respiratory rate or mean arterial pressure. An ultrasound-guided retrobulbar block in an opioid-free anesthesia regime was effective at managing the perioperative analgesia of 13 out of 14 dogs. In only one case, a bolus of fentanyl was administered to treat intraoperative nociception. Recovery was uneventful in all the dogs, and the postoperative pain scores remained below the intervention threshold at all time points. To the authors' knowledge, this is the first reported case series of opioid-free anesthesia for enucleation in dogs.

Keywords: enucleation; opioid-free anaesthesia; retrobulbar-block.

Publication types

  • Case Reports

Grants and funding

This research received no external funding.