Description of a new approach for great auricular and auriculotemporal nerve blocks: A cadaveric study in foxes and dogs

Stathopoulou, T-R and Pinelas, R and Ter Haar, G and Cornelis, I and Viscasillas, J (2018) Description of a new approach for great auricular and auriculotemporal nerve blocks: A cadaveric study in foxes and dogs. Veterinary Medicine and Science, 4 (2). pp. 91-97. ISSN 20531095

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Abstract

Otitis externa is a painful condition that may require surgical intervention in dogs. A balanced analgesia protocol should combine systemic analgesic agents and local anaesthesia techniques. The aim of the study was to find anatomical landmarks for the great auricular and the auriculotemporal nerves that transmit nociceptive information from the ear pinna and to develop the optimal technique for a nerve block. The study consisted of two phases. In phase I, one fox cadaver was used for dissection and anatomical localization of the auricular nerves to derive landmarks for needle insertion. Eight fox cadavers were subsequently used to evaluate the accuracy of the technique by injecting methylene blue bilaterally. In phase II findings from phase I were applied in four Beagle canine cadavers. A block was deemed successful if more than 0.6 cm of the nerve's length was stained. Successful great auricular nerve block was achieved by inserting the needle superficially along the wing of the atlas with the needle pointing towards the jugular groove. For the auriculotemporal nerve block the needle was inserted perpendicular to the skin at the caudal lateral border of the zygomatic arch, close to the temporal process. The overall success rate was 24 out of 24 (100%) and 22 out of 24 (91%) for the great auricular and the auriculotemporal nerves, respectively, while the facial nerve was stained on three occasions. Our results suggest that it is feasible to achieve a block of the auricular nerves, based on anatomical landmarks, without concurrently affecting the facial nerve