Cats and Dogs


CAT (Felis catus)
Physiologic parameters:
Body temperature = 38.5oC (101.3oF)
Heart rate = 110-140/min
Respiratory rate = 26/min
Tidal volume = 20 ml 

DOG (Canis familiaris)
Physiologic parameters:
Body temperature = 39oC (102.2oF)
Heart rate = 100-130/min
Respiratory rate = 22/min
Tidal volume = 250 ml

Signs of pain and distress in cats and dogs

  • Loss of normal behavior: Decreased ambulation or activity, lethargic attitude, decreased appetite, decreased grooming (cats).
  • Expression of abnormal behaviors: Inappropriate elimination, vocalization, aggression or decreased interaction, altered facial expression, altered posture, restlessness, hiding (especially in cats).
  • Posture: hunched, recumbent, head tucked into abdomen, standing with front legs apart, sleeping posture.
  • Restlessness: shaking, scratching particular area, circling, hyperactive. 
  • Vocalization: Moans, squeals, whines, barking upon handling or touching the effected area. 
  • General: Hypothermia, Hyperthermia, weight loss.
  • Locomotion: lameness awkward gait, stilted gait.
  • Self mutilation: excessive licking, chewing appendages.
  • Change in respiration: increased respiratory rate, labored breathing, chattering, nasal discharge.
  • Change in appearance: weight loss, sunken abdomen, dehydration or piloerection.
  • Eyes: sunken, discharge, closed or partially closed.
  • Temperament: More or less docile or aggressive, quiet, unsociable, holding tale between legs, depressed, unresponsiveness.
  • Urination: Increased, decreased, incontinency, wet abdomen.
  • Defecation: constipation, impaction or diarrhea.


  • Acetaminophen 10-15 mg/kg PO every 8-12 hours
  • Meloxicam Initial dose 0.2 mg/kg PO, SC or IV followed by 0.1 mg/kg once daily
  • Buprenorphine 0.01-0.02 mg/kg SC or IM every 6-12 hours
  • Carprofen 2.2 mg/kg PO every 12 hours

Fentanyl transdermal patch

  • 25 µg/hr patch (dogs <10 kg)
  • 50 µg/hr patch (dogs 10-20 kg)
  • 75 µg/hr patch (dogs 20-30 kg)
  • 100 µg/hr patch (dogs >30 kg)

Apply 12 hrs. BEFORE surgery. Duration of action is 72 hrs. Clip hair close to skin, but do not shave the site. Wipe the site with a damp cloth and allow the skin to dry. DO NOT wipe the area with alcohol or surgical scrub. Place the patch on the skin and hold it in place with the palm of your hand for 2-3 minutes. Spray around the perimeter and over the patch with medical adhesive spray. Place a clear adhesive bandage (i.e. Bioclusive) over the site and press down firmly.

Reverse with Naloxone 0.04 mg/kg IV, IM, or SC.

Anesthetic Agents and Tranquilizers Used in Cats and Dogs