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Keywords:

  • birds;
  • brachial plexus;
  • chickens;
  • local anesthesia;
  • ropivacaine

Abstract

Objective  To evaluate the quality of brachial plexus blockade with 0.75% ropivacaine in domestic chickens.

Study design  Prospective experimental trial.

Animals  Six 30-week-old female chickens, weighing 4.5 ± 0.4 kg.

Methods  Six brachial plexus injections were performed after anesthetic induction with isoflurane. After achieving adequate muscle relaxation, the animals were positioned in dorsal recumbency and injected with ropivacaine (1 mL kg−1). The birds recovered and assessments of motor function and response to pinch were scored every 5 minutes for 180 minutes. The scores were from zero (no response) to three (greatest response). The scores over time were analyzed using a Wilcoxon nonparametric test with statistical significance accepted if p ≤ 0.05.

Results  There was a significant difference (p < 0.05) from 15 to 130 minutes and 15 to 120 minutes for motor and sensory blocks, respectively. The onset of both blocks took 15 minutes and the effective periods of sensory and motor anesthesia were 105 and 115 minutes, respectively. Comparison between blocks at different times did not demonstrate significant differences (p > 0.05).

Conclusions and clinical relevance  No complications were observed after the technique. Brachial plexus blockade with 0.75% ropivacaine is a simple and effective technique for procedures on the thoracic limb of domestic chickens.