View Full Version : Safe General Anesthetic

Cathy Moon
3rd January 2009, 03:11 PM
As many of you know, my blenheim boy Geordie is 5 years old and has grade 4 MVD along with SM. Recently we decided to have his teeth cleaned at the vets, knowing that dental health is important to keeping his heart healthy.

I was very nervous about Geordie getting a general anesthetic considering his health issues, and discussed it with two of our vets before scheduling his dental appointment. I even asked if it would be safer to 'sedate' Geordie than putting him under general anesthetic. The vets reassured me than today's general anesthetics are by far safer than sedation, which can impair breathing.

We took Geordie in for his dental early in the morning on December 30, and I spoke to the dental vet tech who would be handling Geordie. I explained about SM, and asked what positions he would be in while under anesthetic. She explained that he would be on a thick pad lying on his side, then she would turn him onto his other side to get to the other side of his mouth. She assured me he would be turned gently, and how he would be transferred on the pad to a cage for his recovery period.

Our vet explained what anesthetics would be used on Geordie - a Propofol injection for induction followed by Sevothane/Sevoflurane gas - these are very safe and used in pediatric medicine. Recovery from this type of anesthetic is very fast as compared to other anesthetics.

We waited at the vets during Geordie's procedure, and the vet came out to assure that all went well. Then at 11:00am, less than 2 hours from when we sat down to wait, Geordie was brought to us! We took him home and he had a drink of water; then 30 minutes later he ate his breakfast and went outside.

I'm posting this for two main reasons - first, certain anesthetics (Propofol and Sevothane) are very safe for dogs, even dogs with advanced MVD. Second, our vet told us it is safer for the dog (even dogs like Geordie with health issues, and dogs in worse health) to keep their teeth clean and their gums free of dental disease. Dental disease poses more of a health risk than these safe anesthetics.

Just a reminder: February is dental month in the US, when many vets provide a significant discount on dental appointments.

3rd January 2009, 04:38 PM
This is my vets protocol with any of my cavaliers. I have him put in an IV (which is probably overkill), but then they come home fully hydrated. The difference in post operative behaviors of the dogs is astounding. On the cheaper gas and drugs, they can't eat that day, they are drowsy- they actually look ill. This is also what our neuro uses when they do MRI's. The dogs eat when they get home- amazing.

3rd January 2009, 04:50 PM

Thanks for posting this. My 9 year old rescue has to go in for dental (her teeth look like they have never seen a tooth brush) and I have been agonizing about it as she has grade 3 MVD. I am printing out your post and bringing it into my vet to discuss. Thanks again!


Cathy Moon
3rd January 2009, 08:23 PM
Catharine, I'm glad you're taking your 9 year old rescue in for dental. :thmbsup:

Just to add a little more information, Geordie also had an IV, which was used to draw blood, administer the Propofol, and then he received IV fluids. He was given Cefazolin/Keflin antibiotic to keep him safe from oral germs getting into his bloodstream.

I asked for a pre-anesthetic blood panel which showed everything is normal. This was well-timed, because his last blood work was 1 year ago - he was due for a blood panel since he's taking both heart and SM meds.

I asked for full dental x-rays this time because I wanted to make sure Geordie had no cracked teeth - last year one of Cathy T's cavaliers had a cracked tooth which was discovered during the dental procedure.

The vet told us that for dogs with dental gum disease they use a stronger antibiotic than Keflin.

Love my Cavaliers
3rd January 2009, 10:40 PM
I have swallowing issues and get periodic food impactions in my esophagus that require an endoscopy to resolve the issue. My gastroenterologist has just started using propofol for the anesthesia. It was great sedation and like Cathy said, a much quicker recovery than I've had before. Glad it works the same on dogs.

3rd January 2009, 11:15 PM
Thank you for the information!!! I took Ilsa for her MRI in November and she was sick for a week, I've never seen such a terrible reaction to anesthesia.
I'll request this next time, talk about a load off my mind!


Brian M
4th January 2009, 09:07 PM
Hi Cathy

A good friend of mine is a human Consultant Anesthetist
and just for interest I asked him about your products which of course he knows well ,Propofol as an initial injection he uses often but for secondary use he thinks Desflurane has a quicker onset and as an offset is three times faster than the others mentioned and is a very efficient non carrier therefore the recovery is virtually instant ,hes even tried it on himself .Of course he is a human doctor and not a vet and he does use of course complex and expensive machinery ,he practices at Broadgreen Hosp (a lot of heart and bypass surgery ) and The Royal (more of a general hosp ) both are in L/pool .As i say hes a smashing down to earth guy who you would not suspect does the type of job he does and his wife is also a Consultant Specialist in some part of the medical field .It always impresses me these type of people who are so gifted and intelligent but appear so normal unlike some less gifted people who look down their nose at you and think so highly of themselves and their so called friends ,a bit like the crowd at the KC and the CKCS club ,oh don't ask me any questions cos I haven't a clue on this my specialist subject is Timber and with our Steve as back up Astro-Physics .
Thanks Cath (for explaining things)
Best Wishes:)

4th January 2009, 10:43 PM
Thanks for that Brian. I believe the ultra-short injectable anaesthetic known as Propofol, and the gas anaesthetic known as Isoflurane (which is often used on budgies!) are the safest for animals. I don't know which method is used during MRI scanning as ours is a little young for that just yet ( still under 1 year). I find it difficult to believe that Big Breeders are using this excuse for not scanning etc.

But before I opening gob in what is to me, 'unchartered waters', would someone who has Been there & Done that, please let be so kind as to inform me what method of anaesthetic was used? and how long did it take for their dog to "get back to normal?"

Thanks Di xx

Cathy Moon
4th January 2009, 10:44 PM
Hey Brian, that's wonderful how you're friends with an Anesthetist. :thmbsup: I read about these anesthetics on the Internet after learning about them from our dental vet, and from what I understand Sevothane/Sevoflurane is less irritating to the membranes of the respiratory system than Desflurane, so even though the recover period is a little longer it has that benefit for the dogs. I was amazed at how Geordie didn't cough at all following his dental.

Cathy T
4th January 2009, 11:13 PM
Thank you so much for sharing this info Cathy. It's been on my mind that Pet Dental Month is right around the corner and both mine are due for a dental (their last was 2 years ago). Jake in particular has some tartar and plaque build up. It was Shelby who had the cracked tooth 2 years ago. I felt so bad because I knew it was causing her pain....but she never showed any signs of discomfort. I will definitely be printing this info out to bring to my dental tech for review.

5th January 2009, 11:52 AM
Thank you for this Cathy, it's really helpful.

So glad that precious Geordie came through ok - give him special hugs from us xxx

Brian M
5th January 2009, 01:41 PM
Hi Cath

Hes a German gentleman but as I say a nice genuine person ,so thinking back he also said sevothane has a rubber smell but you can only smell it just before you go under whilst sevoflurane is more of a sweet smell (or it good be the other way round :confused:).I will be seeing him tonight hes actually in Luke's Karate Class so I natter to him just prior and after his work out so If theres any questions I can ask later ,oh and of course I don't join in as at the sports centre theres a small lounge where I normally sit with a class of coke and a book or paper.