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Comparison of subcutaneous hydromorphone delivered with Medipacs Mini-InfuserTM CRI pump to subcutaneous intermittent injection in dogs



The goal of this study is to determine the usability, dog tolerance, and efficacy of delivery of pain medication as a subcutaneous constant rate infusion (CRI) with the programmed Mini-InfuserTM CRI Pump. The efficacy of this method of administration will be compared to intermittent subcutaneous injections.

Study Summary:

Canine patients frequently require opioid administration for prolonged periods, particularly after a surgery. Traditional methods of administering intermittent bolus doses of analgesics results in fluctuations in plasma levels of drug. Transdermal solution and patch formulations are available, but produce variable results. The goal of administering the drug as a constant rate infusion is to provide a better quality of analgesia by maintaining a constant target concentration of pain medication in the blood for a desired period of time. Recently, a small portable device has been developed that would permit the subcutaneous delivery of analgesics to dogs over a 24-hour period. The device has been tested in a series of dogs in the United States with good success.

Inclusion criteria:  

  • Dogs of 5 – 60 kg
  • Dogs prescribed systemic opioid analgesics for post-operative pain management, following orthopedic surgeries or surgery for intervertebral disk disease.
  • Anticipated duration of analgesic administration ≥ 24 hours.

Exclusion criteria:  

  • Dogs in critical conditions
  • Dogs that have received morphine (<8h), buprenorphine (<12h) or butorphanol (<4h) prior to initiation of the study
  • Dogs receiving maropitant (Cerenia)

Samples required:  

  • Blood (a total of 6 blood samples over 24 hours)

Client Compensation:              

  • Pain medication (hydromorphone) at no cost to owner for 24 hours
  • Hospitalization in the ICU at no cost to owner for 24 hours


Vicky Sabine (PhD), Clinical Research Coordinator

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