8.5LOCAL ANAESTHESIA 8.5 LOCAL ANAESTHESIA

Local or regional anaesthesia may be safer than general anaesthesia in severely debilitated animals. Sedation is usually required, and perineural injection, field block, surface analgesia, intravenous regional analgesia or epidural and spinal injections can be used. Identification of anatomical landmarks may be difficult in obese subjects.

Epidural anaesthesia is a useful procedure when the anaesthetic is injected at the lumbosacral junction but cranial epidural should be avoided because sympathetic fibres may be blocked causing hypotension.

Acupuncture has been recommended as a method of providing analgesia for minor procedures in 'high risk' geriatric veterinary patients (Janssens et al. 1988).