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Old 03-07-2010, 06:46 PM
 
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Default Older dogs & anesthesia, what should I expect?

My 12+ yr. old lab will be undergoing surgery for the first time later this week for the removal of a bad molar (3-root). It will be his first time under anesthesia. He'll have been on antibiotics for a short week preceding his surgery.

With the exception of the last 8 months he's been healthy all his life. Last year he was diagnosed with kidney disease. His vet told me that recurrent infections with this bad tooth would put additional stress on his kidneys.

My question is what should I expect? What are the after affects of anethesia with older dogs? Does it take older dogs long to recover from a major tooth extraction?

Thanks for your responses in advance.
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Old 03-07-2010, 11:27 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lifelongMOgal View Post
My 12+ yr. old lab will be undergoing surgery for the first time later this week for the removal of a bad molar (3-root). It will be his first time under anesthesia. He'll have been on antibiotics for a short week preceding his surgery.

With the exception of the last 8 months he's been healthy all his life. Last year he was diagnosed with kidney disease. His vet told me that recurrent infections with this bad tooth would put additional stress on his kidneys.

My question is what should I expect? What are the after affects of anethesia with older dogs? Does it take older dogs long to recover from a major tooth extraction?

Thanks for your responses in advance.
Different dogs respond differently to anesthesia. The good news is that the extraction should be a relatively short procedure so your baby won't be under too long. Like I said, they all respond differently but in general, he will probably be a lot quieter than normal and may be a bit unsteady on his feet for the first 24 hours after surgery(be very care of him around stairs). Also he could be off his food & water (from the mouth pain and due to the anesthesia). Don't force it as he could also have a bit of an upset tummy (he could vomit) Because they will be putting an artificial airway in place while he is under, he could cough and hack a bit for the 1st day or two from the irritation to his trachea (windpipe). If he has had bad tooth for a while, you should also see a rapid improvement once it heals. Post operative, depending on how he handles the procedure & the anesthesia, they may let you take him home the same day or could keep him overnight. My guess, due to his age is they will keep him for a day. When you pick him up, they will most likely send you home with some pain meds as well as possibly some more antibiotics. I won't tell you not to worry but also don't be afraid to ask the vet about all of your concerns before the procedure. Let us know how he is doing!
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Old 03-08-2010, 06:24 AM
 
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He'll be fine. Just make sure that the vet uses pulse oximetry (a painless way to measure the oxygen saturation in the blood) and continuous ECG monitoring and has someone in the room JUST TO WATCH THOSE INSTRUMENTS. Let us know when your boy is back home.
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Old 03-08-2010, 08:39 AM
 
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OP - FWIW, one of ours had a tooth pulled. The difference was like night and day within about 48 hours. He would go to eat something tentatively and then have a bit of a "Eureka!" moment as if to say, "Wow, it doesn't hurt to eat anymore!"

We've got one who reacts badly to anesthesia - it's just the way she is. She'll retch or vomit for about 24 hrs. and be very much "out of it". She just needs to sleep it off. But we have another who has bounced out, not a bother on him. Just depends on the dog.

I'm sure your vet will advise on post-operative care and feeding, but it's always a good idea to make a list of questions beforehand and take them with you. Remember: there's no such thing as a stupid question, only stupid answers.

Good luck to you both.
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Old 03-08-2010, 11:24 AM
 
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Thanks for the replies! Yes, stairs are going to be a problem in my house. Looks like it will be couch time to make shure he comes through the frist night post surgery o.k. . The vet said he would send him home but he'll spend the entire day at the clinic.

He has a good vet who has warned me that there is risk but he thinks the risk of letting the tooth re-infect is a worse option. I don't think he would do the surgery if he thought my lab wouldn't pull thru alright. I know there are vets like that out there; luckily, this is not one of those groups. He's cared for my lad since he was a pup.

ViralMD, thanks for the procedure specific advice. I would not have known to ask those questions and have written them down to take with us when I take him in on Wed. AM. . Because it is a 3-root molar the vet explained he has to cut a flap in the gum and drill the root tips to extract.

Actually, until the abcess was visible (woke up looking like he'd a swollen cheek/eye from a bar fight) my lab was just fine, chasing balls and chewing on sticks as usual. It was just the day the abcess showed up and the first 48 hrs. on the antibiotics that he was in a funk. This morning he was carrying his Kong about again and prancing like a pup sensing spring. I know he's really waiting for the pond to thaw so he can swim again!

Your comments and well wishes are appreciated! Thank you.
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Old 03-10-2010, 11:26 AM
 
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Well, my lad did not end up having his oral surgery today. He failed his pre-anesthesia blood screening. Due to his kidney disease he is anemic and I'll have to give him injections until we can get his blood levels up to such that the vet. is comfortable putting him under for the surgery. Vet. said it might take 2 weeks or so but the risk of going forward with him too anemic might create a hardship on his heart during surgery.

He'll remain on the antibiotics until he is well enough for surgery.
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Old 03-10-2010, 11:30 AM
 
Location: Montreal -> CT -> MA -> Montreal
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Oh boy! I'm sorry that you both have to go through this wait -- I'm sure you'd like to be on the other side of it, and be able to call it done.

I hope these few weeks pass quickly, so that your boy can have it done already... and have happy chewing days ahead.
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Old 03-10-2010, 11:49 AM
 
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Originally Posted by DandJ View Post
Oh boy! I'm sorry that you both have to go through this wait -- I'm sure you'd like to be on the other side of it, and be able to call it done.

I hope these few weeks pass quickly, so that your boy can have it done already... and have happy chewing days ahead.
Actually he feels just fine since the infection has cleared on the antibiotics.

Yes, I'd rather have it done with; BUT, I am so very grateful that I have a vet. who was not willing to take any unnecessary risk with my lad's life! This is a really good clinic and my vets are absolute guardian angels for my lads.
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Old 03-10-2010, 11:53 AM
 
Location: Montreal -> CT -> MA -> Montreal
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Originally Posted by lifelongMOgal View Post
Actually he feels just fine since the infection has cleared on the antibiotics.

Yes, I'd rather have it done with; BUT, I am so very grateful that I have a vet. who was not willing to take any unnecessary risk with my lad's life! This is a really good clinic and my vets are absolute guardian angels for my lads.
Fabulous!!!
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Old 03-10-2010, 03:24 PM
 
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Originally Posted by lifelongMOgal View Post
Actually he feels just fine since the infection has cleared on the antibiotics.

Yes, I'd rather have it done with; BUT, I am so very grateful that I have a vet. who was not willing to take any unnecessary risk with my lad's life! This is a really good clinic and my vets are absolute guardian angels for my lads.
Absolutely! Its sooo great when you have confidence in your vet. Hope all goes well for the next try at getting that tooth out. Keep us up on his progress.
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