The present and future of opioid analgesics in small animal practice. Academic Article uri icon


  • Opioids are the cornerstone for the treatment of acute pain in small animal patients. This is primarily because of their remarkable safety profile, high efficacy, and benefit of reversibility. There have been some significant advances in our knowledge on opioid pharmacology and clinical usage in companion animal medicine. This review discusses the progression of opioid use in small animal practice providing current misconceptions and controversies in light of routes of administration. Potential targets for research and drug development and novel therapies are discussed in addition to the concepts of glial cell modulators, individual variability, and opioid tolerance and hyperalgesia. The future brings an interesting perspective with the application of pharmacogenetics and individualized pain management in canine and feline practice.

published proceedings

  • J Vet Pharmacol Ther

altmetric score

  • 0.25

author list (cited authors)

  • Simon, B. T., & Steagall, P. V

citation count

  • 21

complete list of authors

  • Simon, BT||Steagall, PV

publication date

  • August 2017