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I have a 13 year old mini pin that has a tooth that has to be pulled soon. The only problem is im so worried about putting him under anthesia to get it pulled. The vet is even concerned because of his age. I been stressing about it all week. I am so scared that he wont pull through. The vet said that anthesia in older dogs is so much harder on them and some dont come out of it. I am just not prepared to lose my boy if this was to happen. Hes been with me for 9 years.

Can anyone tell me of their experiences or something to help ease my mind?
 

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The best thing to do is to voice your anesthesia concerns with your vet. Other than that, I can only give you my personal experience with a senior dog and anesthesia.

I took in a 12 year old dachshund last year, and he needed teeth pulled, surgery to repair his upper jaw, and I had him neutered while he was under. He went through the anesthesia just fine, with no problems.

However, I was a bit worried in the beginning because of his age. I voiced my concerns with my vet, and we talked it over at length. My vet checked him thoroughly, including his heart, lungs, ect. We also did full bloodwork on him, including a CBC, a Chemistry Panel, and a thyroid check, along with a urinalysis test as well. Everything came back perfectly, so after all that, we felt he was healthy enough to go under the anesthesia. So we had the procedures done, and he did great.

So personally, I'd suggest you talk to your vet about your concerns, and I'd suggest seeing if the vet agree's on having bloodwork ran on your dog. This will tell you if their are any underlying health problems that may compromise his health while he is under anesthesia.

My friend, who has worked for my vet for years, had her 16 year old dachshunds teeth cleaned, anda f ew extractions, done last year. She also had the check-up and full panel bloodwork done prior to the procedure, and the results came back fine. The dog did fine under anesthesia.
 

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I second MRC's post. The best you can do is let hem do pre-op blood work, talk about the type of anesthesia to be used, and what type of recovery to expect. I'm sure your vet will do everything possible to make you and your dog comfortable.
 

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My personal experience. Sassy is 42 pounds and was 13.5 years old when a small wart on the eyelid started rubbing her eye. She couldn't have lived with that irritation, it was extremely painful. The routine bloodwork showed kidney disease so the vet supported her with IV fluids through the procedure and she came through just fine. If the vet told us she couldn't have the operation or we couldn't pay for it she would have had to be put to sleep. Sometimes seemingly minor things are potential killers.

Two years later she is happier and healthier than before. That growth hasn't returned and her eye is just fine. The vet is very impressed with his skill. Me too. She gets special food cooked just for her and is fed three times a day. She is more alert now her underlying condition is being treated, goes for 1 to 2 mile walks daily and you wouldn't know she is 15.5 years old.

Please get the bloodwork. Then you and the vet will be better able to make a decision.
 

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Age matters less than health. If your little guy is otherwise in good shape, with a healthy heart, kidney, and liver, he should be fine. ITA with the other posters who suggested pre-op bloodwork.

It's always good to talk to the vet and voice your concerns. Ask them what kind of monitoring they use- will your pet be on an ECG and a pulse oximeter? Do they use fluids during anesthesia? If your vet is doing a good job and watching out for problems before they become major issues, the odds are fantastic that things will be OK. I would focus on how much better your dog will feel once that rotten tooth is out! :)
 

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I 100% agree about the pre-op blood work. Besides that check into what your vet uses for the anesthesia.

If possible it should be sevoflurane for the anesthetic gas, it's what is used in people and by far the safest out there. It's also the most expensive so a lot of vets do not use it and instead use the older (though still safe) isoflurane.

Ask about the pre-meds given. An older dog should be given a mix with Diazepam (valium) and not with acepromazine. The ace can cause heart issues and seizures in dogs that are prone to them. Diazepam is a much safer option.

Where I work an older dog will get a mix of Diazepam and Butorphanol (trade name torbugesic) for pre-meds. It is put under using Propoflo (again, what is used in humans and very safe) and then maintained on Sevoflurane. Doing this we have had very good luck even in much older dogs going under anesthesia. Oh, and of course we do a full blood panel first.

If your vet suspects any heart issues it is also not a bad idea to have an echocardiogram performed prior to the surgery. That's what we do with any dog that has a murmur before we will do an anesthesia on it. With some dogs that means it ends up not safe to go under and with other dogs it shows us that there would be no increased risk.

I hope some of this helps, and if your vet doesn't or won't follow protocols that you feel are safe then look around and find a vet that will.
 

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I agree with every post here except Xie's. Just because one clinic has been successful with a protocol does not mean that it is the correct protocol for all dogs. Each pet and surgery is different and should be evaluated separately.

I do avoid acepromazine in older dogs but that doesn't mean it isn't an excellent drug. It is a very good drug at the correct doses and in healthy, young cats and dogs. Butorphanol is also a good drug in the right situations but there are also very good alternatives such as morphine, burprenorphine, etc. I am would be very surprised if Xie is routinely using valium as a preop unless they give preops IV. Valium is poorly absorbed IM. Ketamine/valium is a good alternative to propofol as an induction protocol and there isn't really any clinical difference between sevo and iso in veterinary anesthesia.

What I'm really saying is that you shouldn't request specific drugs or protocols. If you have concerns, do what everyone has suggested and talk to your vet about those concerns.
 

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Thank you everyone for your advice. I am going to call my vet tomorrow and talk to him about my concerns and ask about doing the post op bloodwork. He's such a wonderful dog, he has been everywhere with me, he is my buddy and my constant shadow. I am gonna miss him deeply when it's his time to go. Here is a better picture of him.

 

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I agree with every post here except Xie's. Just because one clinic has been successful with a protocol does not mean that it is the correct protocol for all dogs. Each pet and surgery is different and should be evaluated separately.

I do avoid acepromazine in older dogs but that doesn't mean it isn't an excellent drug. It is a very good drug at the correct doses and in healthy, young cats and dogs. Butorphanol is also a good drug in the right situations but there are also very good alternatives such as morphine, burprenorphine, etc. I am would be very surprised if Xie is routinely using valium as a preop unless they give preops IV. Valium is poorly absorbed IM. Ketamine/valium is a good alternative to propofol as an induction protocol and there isn't really any clinical difference between sevo and iso in veterinary anesthesia.

What I'm really saying is that you shouldn't request specific drugs or protocols. If you have concerns, do what everyone has suggested and talk to your vet about those concerns.
Wow, did I ever say ace was an unsafe drug in general? I'm pretty sure if you read my post you will see it only mentioned as not being the best to use in an older dog and that I was talking about our protocol for older dogs, not dogs in general.

To get the record straight we do use ace for younger animals and generally healthy animals. In this case though the person was asking about anesthesia in an older dog, in which case you say that that is when you use diazepam as well.

I also mentioned that isoflurane is still a safe anesthetic. On the other hand I know of vets using halothane and I would be wary of a vet using that for a senior dog when there are safer alternatives out there.

As for the particular protocol I listed, of course we don't use that with every dog or every surgery. Depending on the surgery and the health of the animal we change things around like every other vet. On the other hand I did list what we commonly use with senior dogs for dental procedures.

I don't think our ideas are that off, but I do think that my post apparently didn't come across as clearly as I wanted it to. Before I started working as a tech and getting my license I wouldn't really have even thought to ask about different drug protocols. Does the average layperson ask? I know they don't generally where I work.

I was trying to put across the idea that different protocols CAN have different effects and while it would be nice if every vet was up-to-date on the newest research and actually implementing it, it would be ridiculous to assume that. With the clients at work I do take the time to explain the different medications and what they are for, why we use them, why we recommend and in some cases require pre-op bloodwork, etc.

On the other hand I remember having dogs spayed and you were given a time to bring the dog in and a list of after-care instructions. I wouldn't have known there was more to look into than just that.

I hope this clears up my post.
 

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I think you cleared it up very well. My concern was that someone would go into their vet and say I want you to use only: valium, butorphanol, propofol and sevo on my dog because that was what was recommended on the internet. We all know that people really do that. Well the vet could be using midazolam, hydromorphone, ket/val, iso which would be excellent but it wouldn't make the client happy because they really didn't know all the different choices there are and how they really work.

I apologize about the acepromazine but it is my pet peeve that it has such a bad internet rap when it is a perfectly good drug and, yes I will say it, can be used in brachycephalics including bulldogs and frenchies.
 
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