Friday, November 13, 2015

Veterinary Highlights: Breed-Specific Considerations for Anesthesia

Did you know that dogs of different breeds require different consideration when undergoing anesthesia?

Brachycephalic breeds is something that one would probably think of first. 

Their anatomy leads to challenges during intubation, and there is a higher risk of airway obstruction. Special measures need to be take both during induction and during recovery. Close monitoring, and potential oxygen supplementation,  during recovery from anesthesia are crucial.

With toy breeds, just their size creates its own special challenges.

Placing IV catheters is challenging simply because of their tiny blood vessels in their tiny bodies. Small breeds are also more susceptible to hypothermia. Even anesthetic monitoring itself can be challenging.

Greyhounds have documented breed-specific sensitivity to, and prolonged recovery from some anesthetic drugs.

Herding breeds might have prolonged effects of some anesthetic drugs.

Their genetic mutation can lead to toxicity of some drugs, well-known example of which is ivermectin. The same mutation can result in prolonged or excessive sedation from some anesthetic drugs.

Giant breeds require lower drug dosages.

Giant breeds often do not need the same mg to kg of body weight doses as smaller breeds to get equal sedation. I wonder if that was the reason why JD was groggy well up to midnight of the day he had his mast cell tumor removed.

Also, because of their shorter life expectancies, they become geriatric relatively early, which also calls for conservative drug dosing.

Is your vet aware of these breed-specific challenges?

Here's everything you need to know about anesthesia and how it affects the various dog breeds.
Posted by Veterinary Practice News on Saturday, November 7, 2015

Source article:
Canine Breed-Specific Considerations for Anesthesia


  1. Such interesting points! I remember judging a woman once who told me she wasn't having her toy-breed dog spayed because it's too hard on their little systems. I thought that was a silly reason. But now I see that maybe there would be some extra challenges to consider.

    1. When the bodies get that tiny, it makes sense that there are challenges simply because of the size. Plus the metabolic challenges that come with such tiny bodies.

  2. I am always nervous if one of my dogs needs sedating. I wish there was a different procedure to cleaning their teeth. It is always a risk.

    1. I'm always nervous too. But these days, if all things taken into consideration properly and protocol individualized, it can be quite safe. It's important, though, to have pre-anesthesia blood work done and take all things, including the breed, into consideration.