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Randomized, blinded study comparing fentanyl and hydromorphone infusions to control pain in canine ICU patients

** Please note this study is closed/completed and no longer recruiting patients ** 


To compare the effectiveness of these two pain medications to relieve pain and to determine if the side effects that can be caused by medications in this family of drugs are equivalent for each of the two drugs being studied (fentanyl vs hydromorphone).

Background and Rationale:

Continuous infusion of pain medications in the morphine family is commonplace as a pain management tool for canine patients admitted to veterinary ICU. Escalating costs and manufacturer shortages of pain medications have triggered use of alternative drugs for infusion (eg, hydromorphone vs fentanyl). Comparison of effectiveness and quality of these pain infusions has not been performed. We hypothesize that these two medications infusions will have equal effectiveness and comparable side effects when being used routinely for relief of pain in dogs admitted to an ICU.


  • Improved health and cost benefits for patients & owners

Samples Required:

  • None (standard physical exam & observational monitoring)

Inclusion Criteria:

  • Dogs older than 1 year

Exclusion Criteria:

  • Butorphanol administration in past 6 hours
  • Fentanyl patch in past 8 hours
  • Use of epidural catheter for pain control


Dr. Shane Bateman (PI)


Dr. Shane Bateman: Work Cell #: 226-924-5848; Email:

Vicky Sabine (PhD), Clinical Research Coordinator, OVC
Email:; Work Cell #: 226-218-0338

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