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Analgesia for Rodent Burr Hole Craniotomy

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For a burr hole craniotomy, RARC veterinarians recommend an injectable NSAID just before beginning surgery along with a splash block of 50:50 Bupivacaine/Lidocaine. They recommend an opioid post-surgery if an NSAID cannot be used due to study design. If ear bars are used, apply lidocaine 2.5%/prilocaine 2.5% cream (e.g. EMLA® Cream) to the ear canal.

Splash block: Combine 0.5 mL of the 2.5mg/mL Bupivacaine with 0.5mL of the 5mg/mL Lidocaine In a sterile vial or syringe. Apply one drop (~30μL) from the syringe with a needle to the periosteum/wound edges. This will provide approximately 1.5mg/kg Bupivacaine and 3.0mg/kg Lidocaine. Blot away excess prior to drilling burr holes.

Lidocaine 2.5%/Prilocaine 2.5% cream: (e.g. EMLA® Cream): Apply a small amount with swab to the outer ear canal prior to placing ear bars.
For doses and dilutions of drugs please see Dilution Instructions for Various Analgesics. Use the Anesthesia and Analgesia Formulary to search for drugs. Contact your facility veterinarian for any other questions.

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