14. Epidural and Spinal Anesthesia

  1. Luis Campoy LV CertVA, DipECVAA, MRCVS and
  2. Matt R. Read DVM, MVSc, DACVA
  1. Pablo E. Otero and
  2. Luis Campoy

Published Online: 19 JUL 2013

DOI: 10.1002/9781118783382.ch14

Small Animal Regional Anesthesia and Analgesia

Small Animal Regional Anesthesia and Analgesia

How to Cite

Otero, P. E. and Campoy, L. (2013) Epidural and Spinal Anesthesia, in Small Animal Regional Anesthesia and Analgesia (eds L. Campoy and M. R. Read), John Wiley & Sons, Inc., West Sussex, UK. doi: 10.1002/9781118783382.ch14

Publication History

  1. Published Online: 19 JUL 2013
  2. Published Print: 8 FEB 2013

ISBN Information

Print ISBN: 9780813819945

Online ISBN: 9781118783382



  • electrostimulation;
  • epidural anesthesia;
  • epidural space;
  • hanging drop;
  • lateral recumbency;
  • spinal anesthesia;
  • sternal recumbency;
  • sympathetic nerve blockade


Drug access to the site of action is largely dependent on the drug's physical and chemical properties and its interaction with the different membranes that cover and protect the nervous tissue. Sound anatomic knowledge and an understanding of the effects of drug selection are essential for the safe implementation of these techniques. The degree of sympathetic nerve blockade caused by spinal or epidural anesthesia is directly related to the anatomic extent of the block. Surgical trauma typically produces a localized inflammatory response, a systemic neuroendocrine response, and activation of somatic and visceral afferent nerve fibers. To perform an epidural injection, the animal may be placed in either sternal or lateral recumbency, depending on the patient's medical condition and the clinician's preference. Several methods have been developed for confirming needle placement in the epidural space including: loss of resistance (LOR), use of a ‘hanging drop,’ and electrostimulation.