risks with general anesthesia - VeggieBoards
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#1 Old 01-25-2007, 11:09 AM
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Does anyone know anything about the risks involved with small animals and g.a.?



I'm starting to get very scared about this. Pesto is scheduled for an MRI for next week, and goes under g.a. I did some googling and didn't find much.



Please don't tell me to ask my vet... I am having an immensely difficult time getting them to call me back. I guess they're just too busy.
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#2 Old 01-25-2007, 11:52 AM
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I guess it would depend on how old Pesto is?



There is always a risk with any animal (or human) going under g.a, but you have to ask yourself if it is worth the risk - how bad is his/her condition?



It's always risky for older animals, but most vets will tell you if they think it is too great.
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#3 Old 01-25-2007, 11:54 AM
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I've always been warned of the GA risk when it's our smaller animals like hamsters, and then when I worked at a stable it was pretty risky for a horse who needed an op because they're so big it's hard to judge how much you need to keep them under, but for cats (I am right in thinking Pesto's a cat, I hope ) while it's obviously not risk-free I don't think they're the worst animals for having it, and if it's a scan then it won't be for long anyway. But we've had a few of our cats have GA and they all came out fine.



I'd try looking it up, maybe on Wikipedia, you should be able to get a general idea of what the risks are.
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#4 Old 01-25-2007, 12:00 PM
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Yeah Pesto's a cat. She's seven. Her health is good except for the life-threatening seizure she had which is why she's getting the MRI... it will tell us if she has a brain tumour or not.
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#5 Old 01-25-2007, 02:24 PM
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If you're worried make sure you do a pre-surgical blood screen, most vets require them in cats and dogs 7+. It will tell you about the health of her liver, kidneys, etc. and make sure there isn't an underlying condition that would make it more dangerous to go under GA. There are risks, but especially for cats and dogs, which vets are more used to treating and which we know the most about in terms of vet. med. it's pretty routine.
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#6 Old 01-25-2007, 02:46 PM
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Oh we're definitely doing the pre-surg blood screen. I don't think they'd even do the MRI without it.



Thanks for the info/reassurance.
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#7 Old 01-26-2007, 01:38 AM
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I would think that if it's to find out if there is a brain tumour or not, then it's probably worth the risk, as it could be a lifesaver.



Good luck, I'll have my fingers crossed for you both.



Please let us know how you get on and what the results of the scan are.



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#8 Old 01-26-2007, 01:49 AM
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I've been thinking of you and Pesto a lot, I will be crossing my fingers too. Let us know the outcome !
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#9 Old 01-26-2007, 04:10 AM
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In 5 yrs of vet med, I personally hadn't ever seen an animal die due to complications from anesthesia. They are extremely well monitored. At least at the hospital I used to be affiliated with, when they did MRI's, there was a tech assigned to the animal who would CRAWL INTO THE TUBE with the animal if necessary to make sure everything was ok. They're hooked up to all sorts of monitors and things.

You can also request a pre-anesthesia EKG which is really easy and will ensure you that pesto's heart is a-ok.

http://megatarian.blogspot.com
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#10 Old 01-26-2007, 11:42 AM
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When I got my cat fixed, I asked the vet about anesthesia. I've met vets that couldn't answer the first question about anesthesia, but this vet said they had another anesthesia that they use (as opposed to the standard gas they give them for neutering/spaying), and what they did (IIRC - this was several years ago), they put an IV in the cat, and monitor the heartbeat, and other things, and if they see a problem, they remove the IV and the cat immediately wakes up. The vet said they don't do it that way often because it's more expensive and most people won't pay the additional money. I don't remember what it's called though.
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#11 Old 01-27-2007, 10:59 AM
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Someone on another board mentioned something about "paying extra for additional monitoring"... I wonder if this is the same thing?



I know they did all that stuff when my rabbit was spayed, because rabbits are even more sensitive to the g.a.



Thanks to everyone who has replied.
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#12 Old 01-28-2007, 08:04 PM
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In an animal that appears healthy..it is very very very uncommon to have any major anesthetic complication. If the pre-anesthetic labwork is normal (meaning the drugs will be metabolized normally) the only other thing i've ever seen cause a complication is a cat that had a heart arrythymia that was undetectable by auscultation, which was later diagnosed by an ECG.



I don't know your cat, but to me it doesn't seem like there is really a risk of any proportion. I wish all our clients would care enough about their pets to get MRIs done! I think it's great to see people go all out for their pets.



Also, maybe you should look for a new vet once Pesto is feeling better? Any vet that is too busy to address your concerns isn't doing their job.
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