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Puppy had cardiac arrest after being spayed (while in recovery), what to do?

Hi all,

I joined here because I'm needing advised from possibly other vets who are members here or other owners who had gone through what my family have been going through for a few days now.

One of our closest friends had their puppy spayed at our Vet per our recommendations since we had our chihuahua spayed a while back and had great success (though she was limping for a few days during recovery). In any case, my friends puppy apparently had a cardiac arrest while she was in recovery after the surgery. The vet had performed the necessary procedures (as so they say) to recover the puppy. They were successful of getting her back to breath again, but they claim that because the puppy lacked air in her brain that she may suffer brain damage. This is a total shocker and just very upsetting for us mainly because we referred them and we are really close to them, plus we treat them as member of our own family.

It's been three days now and the puppy is still unable to eat on her own. She is remained distorted and just not her self. Still cannot stand up and pick up her own head. The Vet bill is extremely expensive and she has been in an overnight facility so she could be monitored. She does go to the bathroom, and somewhat move her legs every now and then, but that's the extent of that.

The Vet claims that during the neutering, they also extracted 4 baby teeth which were long overdue to come out. Now this was a concern because it was never addressed with the owner that pulling teeth will be part of the surgery. Could this additional stress cause the dog to go into surgery? The dog is full of life before the surgery and now it is the complete opposite and it's a heart breaker. We all are hoping that she would recover and regain her normal self, but how long to wait? We aren't even sure if the puppy can see or recognize her owners :(

It is really saddening. If you have been in this situation, I would certainly appreciate anything you could offer. It is not our puppy but she is our chihuahua's best friend...

Thanks and god bless....
 

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Re: Puppy had cardiac arrest after being spayed (while in recovery), what to do?

I'm sorry about your friend's dog. Unfortunately, just like with people, sometimes the unexpected can happen. They can do presurgery bloodwork beforehand, to make sure that there aren't any medical conditions that would make the surgery riskier, but even then, sometimes "stuff" happens. I never turn down presurgery bloodwork just to try to limit risk.
The vet should be able to do a neurologic exam, to determine function. I would normally give a dog a few days to see if they are improving, but if not, then I would give the dog a kind passing.
 

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Re: Puppy had cardiac arrest after being spayed (while in recovery), what to do?

Some dogs don't do as well under anesthesia as others. Did the vet recommend a pre-operative blood panel and EKG? We recommended them at the vet I worked for before anesthetizing any animal for any reason, as a precautionary measure. As far as the baby teeth go - small dogs often get "shark teeth" where the baby teeth don't fall out but the adult teeth are in and they're typically pulled while under anesthesia for the spay/neuter. You wouldn't want an extra procedure later on, and it only takes a minute, they pop right out. It really wouldn't be stressful on the dog.

Whatever happened, it certainly isn't your fault for recommending the vet! I hope the pup improves.
 

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Re: Puppy had cardiac arrest after being spayed (while in recovery), what to do?

Years ago when I worked at the vet we had issues with the masks that go over the faces when they are under. The masks didn't fully cover some dogs and cats (persian cats and dogs with smaller snouts) face, leading to the the lack of air while under. It is a surgery and their are risks..I believe we lost two(a cat and a dog) this way while I worked there:( Another thing that can be a problem is if the dog ate anything after a certain time..I know someone who just had a dog neutered and while it was under it threw up and caused lots of issue. It was a week of touch and go, but the dog made it.
 
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