Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Tiny pump means pain relief for big cats

03.09.2009
Wildlife Conservation Society vets modify implant to give big cats pain relief after surgery

Veterinarians from the Wildlife Conservation Society's Bronx Zoo and the University of Tennessee have found a solution to the challenge of providing effective pain relief to some of their most difficult patients: big cats.

The answer: A surgically implanted, capsule-sized pump that provides continuous pain relief while the animal recovers from surgery, according to a new study appearing in the August edition of the American Journal of Veterinary Research.

The paper features the results of evaluations carried out with domestic cats at the University of Tennessee for the purpose of evaluating the potential usage of osmotic pumps for big cats. As a result of this work, the units have already been used successfully on two leopards that both underwent spay procedures at Tiger Haven, a big cat sanctuary in Tennessee.

"Osmotic pumps are a reliable, largely non-invasive means of providing pain relief to big cats such as leopards, tigers and other species after surgery," said Dr. John Sykes of the Wildlife Conservation Society's Global Health Program and lead author on the paper. "They can be placed within the cat at the end of an operation and then removed after a period of weeks with no other handling required."

The co-authors of the study are Drs. Sherry Cox and Edward C. Ramsay of the University of Tennessee. The study was funded by the Morris Animal Foundation.

Delivering pain relief to pet animals such as dogs, cats, or rabbits after surgery is relatively easy as opposed to wild animals in zoos. Some have tried using transdermal patches in domestic cats, but wild cats tend to remove them shortly after waking up from surgery. And while small cats can be held to give pills or injections to relieve pain, larger cats—leopards, tigers, cougars, and lions—are too powerful to restrain easily. In addition, big cats will typically stop eating when in pain, eliminating the possibility of administering oral medication in tasty treats.

Osmotic pumps, on the other hand, provide veterinarians with a delivery device that cannot be removed by the animal patient and limits the required handling of the animal for a minor procedure to implant and remove the pump weeks later (as opposed to daily injections delivered via drug darts for weeks).

The pump itself is a small capsule shaped unit (ranging between 1.5 and 5.1 centimeters in size) that is placed just beneath the surface of the skin of the animal's shoulder during surgery and is easy to implant and remove. The pump contains the pain medication (in this case fentanyl), which resides inside a bag within the pump. The outer casing of the pump is permeable, and plasma from the animal is drawn into the casing through the process of osmosis, and the medication diffuses out through a small opening at the top of the pump. Since the flow of liquid out of the pump is constant, veterinarians control the rate of dosing through the concentration of the drug in the pump.

"This is a great example of how existing methodologies can be adapted for usage in wild cats in captive breeding programs," said Dr. William Karesh, Vice President and Director of WCS's Global Health Program. "It's a win-win in that it reduces the effort by veterinarians to treat big cats while helping to reduce stress and thus speed healing in the cats themselves."

To assess the potential of osmotic pumps for usage in larger cats, Sykes and other authors conducted clinical trials on house cats at the University of Tennessee, comparing the effectiveness of the osmotic pumps versus transdermal patches. After implanting pumps, the veterinarians tested each of the cats for the presence of the pain medication fentanyl in the blood stream at six-hour intervals for a full period of 96 hours, after which the pumps were surgically removed. Later, the cats were given post-operative fentanyl doses via transdermal patches and the blood was similarly tested.

According to the results, the osmotic pumps delivered pain medications more quickly into the blood stream of the cats than the transdermal patches. The medications also disappeared from the bloodstream more quickly upon removal of the pumps than the patches. All of the house cats are doing well.

Osmotic pumps also provide veterinarians with a means of delivering other medications. Wildlife Conservation Society veterinarians have successfully used osmotic pumps to administer antibiotics to snakes and other species at the Bronx Zoo.

John Delaney | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.wcs.org

More articles from Ecology, The Environment and Conservation:

nachricht Conservationists are sounding the alarm: parrots much more threatened than assumed
15.09.2017 | Justus-Liebig-Universität Gießen

nachricht A new indicator for marine ecosystem changes: the diatom/dinoflagellate index
21.08.2017 | Leibniz-Institut für Ostseeforschung Warnemünde

All articles from Ecology, The Environment and Conservation >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Ultrafast snapshots of relaxing electrons in solids

Using ultrafast flashes of laser and x-ray radiation, scientists at the Max Planck Institute of Quantum Optics (Garching, Germany) took snapshots of the briefest electron motion inside a solid material to date. The electron motion lasted only 750 billionths of the billionth of a second before it fainted, setting a new record of human capability to capture ultrafast processes inside solids!

When x-rays shine onto solid materials or large molecules, an electron is pushed away from its original place near the nucleus of the atom, leaving a hole...

Im Focus: Quantum Sensors Decipher Magnetic Ordering in a New Semiconducting Material

For the first time, physicists have successfully imaged spiral magnetic ordering in a multiferroic material. These materials are considered highly promising candidates for future data storage media. The researchers were able to prove their findings using unique quantum sensors that were developed at Basel University and that can analyze electromagnetic fields on the nanometer scale. The results – obtained by scientists from the University of Basel’s Department of Physics, the Swiss Nanoscience Institute, the University of Montpellier and several laboratories from University Paris-Saclay – were recently published in the journal Nature.

Multiferroics are materials that simultaneously react to electric and magnetic fields. These two properties are rarely found together, and their combined...

Im Focus: Fast, convenient & standardized: New lab innovation for automated tissue engineering & drug

MBM ScienceBridge GmbH successfully negotiated a license agreement between University Medical Center Göttingen (UMG) and the biotech company Tissue Systems Holding GmbH about commercial use of a multi-well tissue plate for automated and reliable tissue engineering & drug testing.

MBM ScienceBridge GmbH successfully negotiated a license agreement between University Medical Center Göttingen (UMG) and the biotech company Tissue Systems...

Im Focus: Silencing bacteria

HZI researchers pave the way for new agents that render hospital pathogens mute

Pathogenic bacteria are becoming resistant to common antibiotics to an ever increasing degree. One of the most difficult germs is Pseudomonas aeruginosa, a...

Im Focus: Artificial Enzymes for Hydrogen Conversion

Scientists from the MPI for Chemical Energy Conversion report in the first issue of the new journal JOULE.

Cell Press has just released the first issue of Joule, a new journal dedicated to sustainable energy research. In this issue James Birrell, Olaf Rüdiger,...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

“Lasers in Composites Symposium” in Aachen – from Science to Application

19.09.2017 | Event News

I-ESA 2018 – Call for Papers

12.09.2017 | Event News

EMBO at Basel Life, a new conference on current and emerging life science research

06.09.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

“Lasers in Composites Symposium” in Aachen – from Science to Application

19.09.2017 | Event News

New quantum phenomena in graphene superlattices

19.09.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

A simple additive to improve film quality

19.09.2017 | Power and Electrical Engineering

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>