The analgesic and sedative effects of GV20 pharmacopuncture with low-dose hydromorphone in healthy dogs undergoing ovariohysterectomy. Academic Article uri icon


  • This study evaluates the analgesic efficacy of low-dose hydromorphone administered via pharmacopuncture at Governing Vessel 20 (GV20) for postoperative pain management following canine ovariohysterectomy. Fifty clinically healthy female dogs undergoing ovariohysterectomy were allocated to receive hydromorphone [0.1 mg/kg body weight (BW)] intramuscularly (IM, n = 25) or hydromorphone (0.01 mg/kg BW) pharmacopuncture at GV20 (GV, n = 25) following extubation. This was a prospective, blinded, randomized clinical trial. Pain and sedation scores were evaluated using the Glasgow Composite Measure Pain Scale Short Form (CMPS-SF) at 1, 2, 3, 4, and 12 hours following study treatment. Time of treatment failure (CMPS-SF 6/24) was recorded and analyzed using Kaplan-Meier survival analysis. Patient demographics and duration of surgery and anesthesia were analyzed using the appropriate unpaired Student's t-test. The Glasgow CMPS-SF and sedation score were analyzed using a repeated measures 2-way analysis of variance (ANOVA) followed by Bonferroni post-test where appropriate. Significance was set a P < 0.05. There were no significant differences in patient demographics, anesthesia and surgery duration, and study treatment failure. The Glasgow CMPS-SF scores were significantly higher for IM compared with GV [2 (0 to 8) versus 1 (0 to 6), respectively; P = 0.044] at 4 hours. Sedation scores were significantly higher for IM compared with GV at 2 [2 (1 to 3) and 1 (1 to 3), respectively; P = 0.0004] and 4 [1 (1 to 3) and 1 (1 to 2), respectively; P = 0.03] hours. Pharmacopuncture with low-dose hydromorphone provided adequate postoperative analgesia in dogs undergoing ovariohysterectomy with reduced sedative effects. Pharmacopuncture is a good alternative in dogs when reduced dosing of opioids is recommended.

published proceedings

  • Can Vet J

author list (cited authors)

  • Scallan, E. M., Eckman, S. L., Coursey, C. D., Ikels, K. C., & Simon, B. T.

citation count

  • 2

complete list of authors

  • Scallan, Elizabeth M||Eckman, Stacy L||Coursey, Caleb D||Ikels, Kristine C||Simon, Bradley T

publication date

  • January 2021