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Anatolian Shepherd Dogs International, Inc.

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Ask the Vet
with Dr. Nancy Rose, D.V.M

Question: What is the safest Anesthesia recommended for our pet patients today?

Anesthesia for the high Risk Patient:

When I started my veterinary practice years ago, the drugs of today were not available. Neither were the sophisticated, affordable monitoring devices we have today. Now when I look back it was a scary time and I would not want to go there again.

Today there is a safe and effective protocol available for all. If your DVM doesn't have it you may want to find another DVM. This protocol may cost a little more, but our patients are worth it. Where I work we treat pets like we would ourselves, so we use anesthesia protocols. Every patient should have pre-operative blood (this includes a CBC and Chemistry screen and sometimes a urinalysis for older patients) to determine if he/she is a good surgical candidate; if any abnormalities are found the procedure may be postponed or additions made to the protocol. Sometimes antibiotics are indicated for at least 72 hours before the procedure. All patients have an IV catheter and are given fluids before during and after the procedure. Premed drugs are given. I recommend premedications of torbutrol (O.1ml per 10 lbs with a max dose of 0.5ml) and acepromazine (dilute the ace to 1mg per ml for a more accurate dosing and give 0.25ml per 1b but no more than 1.0ml for a max of 1mg). These tiny doses will help to calm the patient and lessen the amount of induction drug and gas. Induction with proprofol IV and then sevoflourane gas "TO EFFECT." Many of the large bone breeds weigh more but do not require as much of the drug. So, for example, a full dose may be available but given slowly, the patient may only require only 1/2 of the recommended dose to achieve intubation. Then maintain on sevo and O2. Maintaining the pet may be achieved with as little as 2%. Each patient should have a trained pet nurse or vet tech for anesthesia monitoring. A pulse oximiter can be used to monitor heart rate and % O2 in the blood, along with an ECG. Each patient should be carefully monitored during and after the procedure and the monitoring should continue for 2 hours post-op in the hospital where additional O2 and other drugs are available if needed. The IV catheter is left in until just before discharge. When this protocol is used anesthetic risk decreases to the level of anesthetic death being close to that of human medicine. Post op pain medications such as rimadyl are also highly recommended. Normally I would give the patient an injection of ketoprofen at the time of discharge and have the owner start the rimadyl the next morning.

Dr. Rose lives in Norman, Oklahoma with her Anatolian, horse, pigmy goats, geese, duck, peacocks, and cats along with a kennel and house full of bulldogs. She graduated from the University of Georgia. She works at Banfield the Pet Hospital in S. Oklahoma City.

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