Wednesday, December 07, 2022

A study reveals the real risks of anesthesia in dogs

A study reveals the real risks of anesthesia in dogs

A new VetCompass study led by the Royal Veterinary College (RVC) and the University of Manchester has revealed a relatively low risk of death from sedation and general anesthesia for dogs in the UK. The research was conducted with the aim of generating up-to-date information that helps improve shared decision making between veterinary professionals and owners.

The article, ‘Death related to general anesthesia and sedation in dogs under primary veterinary care in the UK’, published in Veterinary anesthesia and analgesia, used data from more than 150,000 dogs attending veterinary centers. The study examined the overall risk of death for each dog that had had at least one sedation and/or anesthesia procedure over a given period of time. The study focused specifically on anesthesia related to spaying and neutering in dogs as these procedures are very common in the UK and concern about anesthetic exposure can cause real concern for owners.

The findings showed that at present There is a risk of 14 deaths in 10,000 dogs within two weeks of sedation/anesthesia procedures of any cause, with 10 deaths per 10,000 occurring within 48 hours of these procedures. Particularly for spay surgery on dogs, this risk was very low, with one in 10,000 spay procedures involving sedation and/or anesthesia resulting in death. No association was observed between the age of the puppies at the time of sterilization and the risk of death.

Dogs in the UK are often placed under general anesthesia for a variety of procedures, ranging from routine castrations to dental procedures and invasive surgeries. While the risk of anesthesia-related death during surgery is minimal in humans, general anesthesia carries a high risk for companion animals. The use of anesthesia during surgery can cause significant complications for dogs and, in some cases, even death. Weighing these benefits and the risks of anesthesia and surgery can be a major source of distress for owners.


Some of the key factors associated with an increased risk of sedation- and anesthesia-related death in this new study include older age, poorer general health, more urgent surgery, and certain breeds such as Rottweilers and West Highland White Terriers compared to mixed breeds. . ,

crew It also examined whether flat-faced “brachycephalic” breeds were associated with an increased risk, Strikingly, long-nosed ‘dolichocephalic’ breeds showed a fourfold odds of sedative/anesthetic-related death compared with medium-nosed dogs, whereas no additional risk was seen in flat-faced breeds.

Veterinarians and owners should consider the risks of sedation and/or anesthesia for each individual animal, and weigh the risks of surgery against the potential benefits to the dog’s life before deciding whether to proceed should do. It is particularly challenging for owners to make this decision in regards to elective neutering surgery, which is often performed on young puppies but is not necessary to immediately save lives, but in the future quality of life of both dogs as owners Potentially not necessary to improve.

Overall, these results provide some reassurance to the veterinary and dog owner communities regarding the safety of raising young puppies, as well as the relative safety of sedatives and anesthetics for more complex procedures.

For older dogs, who are in poor health, or are undergoing complex planned surgery, the results emphasize the value of careful planning to manage anesthetic risks. Immediate procedures, regardless of their complexity, have been shown to carry a high risk and should therefore be approached with great caution and caution.

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