Author Topic: Anesthesia and the American Mastiff (VERY important!)!!  (Read 2118 times)

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Offline MParlier

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Anesthesia and the American Mastiff (VERY important!)!!
« on: April 17, 2009, 03:36:16 PM »
Anesthesia and the Mastiff
By Robin M. Smith, DMV

I thought that I would talk about anesthesia concerns and the mastiff since that is the most frequently asked question I get from mastiff owners.

First off, you MUST have a veterinarian that is willing to listen to you and who is not afraid to be questioned about their anesthesia methods and how they monitor the pet once they are under anesthesia. If they do not want to discuss this or if they have a comment like, "well, I have always done it so-and-so way and I am not going to change," find yourself another veterinarian.  I think that the public needs to be aware of exactly what is happening to their dogs and the risks that are possible. ALL anesthesias put the dog at risk... BUT there are some that are much safer than others and I will discuss these.

To start, I want to mention a few anesthesias that I would avoid, if at all possible. In the past, most of these drugs were used exclusively, but with the advent of the new drugs and safer ones, they should not be used in the mastiff. Mastiffs are not just big Chihuahuas. The mastiff generally has a slower heart rate than smaller dogs and they also have inherently a lower blood pressure. They also, as you know, have a larger body mass. These things add to the risk of anesthetizing them.

I never use acepromazine anymore as a pre-anesthetic or tranquilizer. Acepromazine lowers blood pressure and dilates blood vessels thereby making the blood pressure even lower. It also is metabolized (gotten rid of by the body) very slowly and tends to accumulate in fatty tissues. Therefore, larger dogs and fatter dogs usually have to be given a larger dose than normal in order to have effect and, because of this, it takes these dogs sometimes days to get back to normal. I have used it a lot in the past... In fact, it was the "gold standard" for pre- anesthetic sedation, but not anymore.  Many people have used it in tablet form for tranquilization during stressful periods, i.e. thunderstorms. Again, I used to use it for this, but do not now, especially in giant breeds... It is too unpredictable. Just to let you know, I use Benadryl for thunderstorms at a dose of 1 mg./lb but not to exceed 100 mg. and find it works very well to make the dog tired and rest better.

Xylazine (Rompun) is another drug I avoid. I haven't used it in about 5 years. It makes the heart more susceptible to the effects of epinephrine (adrenalin) that is in the body and therefore, making the dog more susceptible to heart abnormalities. It is a difficult drug to dose in giant breed dogs.

Acepromazine and Xylazine are the two drugs that I try to avoid if possible. If your veterinarian is also a large animal (cow, not mastiff) veterinarian, he may very well use the two drugs as they are used in farm animals a lot.

If for some reason, your veterinarian must use these two drugs, I think it is mandatory that the dog be monitored by an EKG machine during surgery and immediately postoperatively.

Other drugs that I do not use much, although they are still used, are the thiopentals. These are like sodium pentathol. They work very rapidly to knock the dog down, but are very powerful and stay in the system a long time. Also if the drug gets out of the vein (like if the dogs jump) the thiopentals can irritate the surrounding area and completely slough the area (all the tissue dies).
The drug(s) that I use the most in mastiffs are valium, ketamine, telazol, and propofol.

A combination of valium and ketamine given intravenously will be enough to knock the dog down in order to insert the endotracheal tube. Both of these drugs are very safe and I use them a lot in the older dogs. Neither one affect the heart much.

Telazol is very similar to valium and ketamine and also works well for anesthesia so that an endotracheal tube can be placed (I use 0.1 cc/lb and do not exceed 1.5 cc total).

I do use propofol (deprivan) for short procedures, i.e. OFA radiographs. Propofol is a fairly new drug in the veterinary field but has been used for a long time in the human field. It is a milky solution that after opening a vial cannot be stored. It gets contaminated with bacteria very easily. Because it is expensive, the veterinarian may try to cut corners and use old leftover propofol that is sitting in the fridge. It is given until effect or, in other words, it is given IV until the dog goes down and then the dog is intubated and put on gas. The GREAT thing about this drug is that as soon as the animal is taken off the gas, the dog is awake and can walk out without assistance. I have also used the drug in C-sections to sedate the dog long enough to insert the endotracheal tube. It is a very top of the line drug. I do find the dosages of propofol to be a lot lower than the manufacturers literature dosage. One added thing:  Propofol can lower blood pressure so the pet needs to be monitored while on that.

I also use oxymorphone for sedation and sometimes as the sole sedative for simple procedures like biopsy. It is an opioid and therefore it can cause respiratory depression, which means that the dog needs to be constantly monitored. There is a reversal agent called Naloxone that will reverse the effects of the drug and works quite well.

I will always put the dog on gas for a fairly short procedure. Isoforane is a gas of choice since it has fewer side effects. Halothane is still being used by some veterinarians. I do not use it since it (just like xylazine) sensitizes the heart which can cause irregular beats. But, as long as the dog is properly monitored, there should be no problem.

Prior to ANY anesthesia in any aged animal, I require a pre-anesthetic blood work up. I get a PCV (monitors whether anemic or dehydrated), a BUN (monitors liver and kidney function), Creatinine (monitors kidney function), ALT (monitors liver function), Alkaline phosphates (monitors liver and the biliary system), Total protein (monitors the immune system and hydration status), glucose and the electrolytes (sodium, potassium and chloride). I get these as I said even in young animals... It is just good medicine to know where the dog is prior to surgery and anesthesia so we will know how they will tolerate anesthesia. It is the base line. These test also guide me to my use of anesthesia. For example, if there is kidney damage I know to avoid drugs that have to go through the kidney to be eliminated from the body. The temperature is also monitored along with the heart by an EKG.

Atrophine was a drug that was used all the time as a pre-medication to dry up the saliva in dogs and cats and to keep the heart rate up. It is not used much anymore, or shouldn't be used in large and giant breeds. I don't use it in any breed anymore. Atrophine causes the gut to slow down and this is not good especially in the mastiff. I believe slowing the gut down predisposes the mastiff to bloating.

ANESTHETIC PROTOCOLS:

1.   Routine spay or neuter. I hate the word ROUTINE used here because no surgery is routine. I used valium at 0.3 mg/kg and ketamine at 10 mg/kg IV and then I put the tube down the trachea and start the dog on isoforane gas anesthetic. I have not had problems with these in the mastiff.

2.   OFA radiographs. I know many of you try to get OFA radiographs while the animal is awake. An non-sedated animal is very hard to position correctly, but even more importantly OFA asks you to sedate the dogs. OFA believes that by not sedating the dogs, we're not getting good representative x-rays. I believe if the OFA radiographs are done with sedation, it would be very hard to miss a dysplastic animal. Depending on if the dog is going to go right home or stay in the hospital. I will use 2 anesthetics for each case. If the dog is staying, I use the valium/ketamine mixture and if the dog is not staying, then I use the propofol and then the dog is intubated. Just another added note. I always put an IV catheter in for a quick access to the blood stream in case something does happen and I need to give drugs quickly.

3.   Caesarean Sections. The main goal here is to obtain the least sedation possible in the puppies. For the Cesarean section, I utilize Propofol at a dose of 3 mg./ lb. or until I can get an endotracheal tube down the dog. If I had to choose a second choice I would give the bitch torbutrol and valium as a preanesthetic as described next and then intubate after masking down. I use torbugesic at 0.45 mg/kg and give it to the muscle. Then I give valium (0.45 mg/kg) intramuscularly. We prep the bitch on the floor by shaving her belly and then when done, we put her on the table and mask her down. We put a large mask over her muzzle and turn the gas all the way until she is asleep enough to put the endotracheal tube in. While masking the bitch down, she may struggle since the dog thinks it is not getting oxygen, even though it is. The trick here is to get in and the puppies out ASAP. Propofol can also be used and I have had good results with it. The bitch is wide awake as soon as the last staple is in. I am comfortable with either one.

Those are probably the three most common surgeries I do on mastiffs. Don't let the anesthesia scare you. Where there is some risk has been lowered by doing all the blood work and the pre-op exams that I mentioned above.

If you have any questions regarding anesthesia or just anything, please feel free to contact me.

Robin M. Smith, DVM
Westminster Veterinary Emergency/Trauma Center
269 West Main Street
Westminster, MD 21557

Work:  410-848-3363
Fax:  410-848-4959
Email: RocknRob56@aol.com





~AM Murphy, Flying W Farms (B: 1.23.05 ~ Rufus & Kady) CGC, Therapy Dogs International, Inc., RIP 8.22.2016
~Epileptic GSD mix Annie (B: 10.4.04 ~ adopted 5.06) RIP 5.17.08
~EM Frankie (B: 11.11.01 ~ adopted 10.07) RIP 10.28.09
~Epileptic AM Brody, Orion Farms (B: 9.11.09 ~ Merlin & Pandora ~ adopted 4.2.10) RIP 6.15.13
~EM Maggie (B: 10.17.05 ~ adopted 12.06) RIP 12.1.2013
~Chihuahua mix, Daisy (B: approx 2003 ~ adopted 11.09) RIP 1.31.2014

*You get out of a dog only what you are willing to put into it.

Offline MParlier

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Re: Anesthesia and the American Mastiff (VERY important!)!!
« Reply #1 on: December 12, 2009, 02:52:08 PM »
The following two posts (from Kerry and Barb) originated on another thread.  This information is critical for our giant dogs.

The thread where they originated from can be seen here:
http://amfamilyforum.net/Forum/index.php?topic=1347.msg21481#new


Kerry's post:

This is Kerry from Lazy M.  Diane and I use the same Puppy Guidelines booklet for our clients, and in that booklet is the article discussing anesthesia and the AM, as well as an article on choosing a vet who can handle the giants.  We suggest that any time one of our dogs is put under anesthesia, that you ask your vet to follow these guidelines.  It is critical that your vet have a big enough table to support your entire dog.  It is even more critical for Augie since there is already a question of spinal chord involvement.  if you don't mind me asking, did your vet neuter Augie?  If so, is the OR table large enough to support him?  Did they make sure to support his head the whole time he was under?  If any of these answers is NO, there is a real possibility that Augie sustained a spinal injury while under anesthesia the first time.  If he had a partially slipped disc or some other issue and it got aggravated while playing at doggie daycare, this may well be your problem. 

I know my response may seem like I am tryintg to blame you or your vet, or that I am being judgemental, but this is not the case at all.  I am just trying to help you find out what is wrong with Augie.  I have personally seen two cases in AMs who did not have their heads properly supported throughout surgery, (their heads were allowed to hang freely while being transported on and off the table) and they now receive treatment for slipped discs.  The symptoms can mimic wobblers, or can be mistaken for hip issues.  The slipped discs or compressed vertebrae are usually located in the neck just above the shoulders. 

I would suggest finding a vet who has the facilities and knowledge to handle these giants.  They can do regular OFA type x-rays for the hips.  If you no longer have the articles that Diane sent home with you, please contact her ASAP for another copy.  I believe the anesthesia article is also on this forum in the health section.   
 
~AM Murphy, Flying W Farms (B: 1.23.05 ~ Rufus & Kady) CGC, Therapy Dogs International, Inc., RIP 8.22.2016
~Epileptic GSD mix Annie (B: 10.4.04 ~ adopted 5.06) RIP 5.17.08
~EM Frankie (B: 11.11.01 ~ adopted 10.07) RIP 10.28.09
~Epileptic AM Brody, Orion Farms (B: 9.11.09 ~ Merlin & Pandora ~ adopted 4.2.10) RIP 6.15.13
~EM Maggie (B: 10.17.05 ~ adopted 12.06) RIP 12.1.2013
~Chihuahua mix, Daisy (B: approx 2003 ~ adopted 11.09) RIP 1.31.2014

*You get out of a dog only what you are willing to put into it.

Offline MParlier

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Re: Anesthesia and the American Mastiff (VERY important!)!!
« Reply #2 on: December 12, 2009, 02:53:19 PM »
Barb's post:


Kerry,

Most people don't ask these simple but important questions. Thank you for bringing that up.  It is not unreasonable for a DVM to have a table large enough to accomodate our big fur kids, but, sadly, many do not.   Attached is a pic of Bueller, now 5 yrs, fully supported for his recent dental cleaning.
Also note the blue blanket underneath.  Warm air circulates through to help maintain body temp and also help give body support.  Added another pic with another "air blanket" being placed over Bueller to help keep him warm.

The small TV screen to the left is a doppler monitoring system to constantly monitor metabolic functions while Bueller was under anesthesia.

Thanks for the good point!

~AM Murphy, Flying W Farms (B: 1.23.05 ~ Rufus & Kady) CGC, Therapy Dogs International, Inc., RIP 8.22.2016
~Epileptic GSD mix Annie (B: 10.4.04 ~ adopted 5.06) RIP 5.17.08
~EM Frankie (B: 11.11.01 ~ adopted 10.07) RIP 10.28.09
~Epileptic AM Brody, Orion Farms (B: 9.11.09 ~ Merlin & Pandora ~ adopted 4.2.10) RIP 6.15.13
~EM Maggie (B: 10.17.05 ~ adopted 12.06) RIP 12.1.2013
~Chihuahua mix, Daisy (B: approx 2003 ~ adopted 11.09) RIP 1.31.2014

*You get out of a dog only what you are willing to put into it.

Offline Alaskan Olli

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Re: Anesthesia and the American Mastiff (VERY important!)!!
« Reply #3 on: December 12, 2009, 09:57:31 PM »
VERY VERY good info. Olli has to get the "boys" chopped off soon and we will definitly ask the vet' these questions  :three_dogs:

Offline MParlier

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Re: Anesthesia and the American Mastiff (VERY important!)!!
« Reply #4 on: December 14, 2009, 01:10:37 PM »
Here's an article by the Great Dane Lady that Kerry mentioned on the other thread....


http://www.greatdanelady.com/articles/surgery_guidelines_for_great_danes_htm.htm
~AM Murphy, Flying W Farms (B: 1.23.05 ~ Rufus & Kady) CGC, Therapy Dogs International, Inc., RIP 8.22.2016
~Epileptic GSD mix Annie (B: 10.4.04 ~ adopted 5.06) RIP 5.17.08
~EM Frankie (B: 11.11.01 ~ adopted 10.07) RIP 10.28.09
~Epileptic AM Brody, Orion Farms (B: 9.11.09 ~ Merlin & Pandora ~ adopted 4.2.10) RIP 6.15.13
~EM Maggie (B: 10.17.05 ~ adopted 12.06) RIP 12.1.2013
~Chihuahua mix, Daisy (B: approx 2003 ~ adopted 11.09) RIP 1.31.2014

*You get out of a dog only what you are willing to put into it.

Offline MParlier

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Re: Anesthesia and the American Mastiff (VERY important!)!!
« Reply #5 on: April 17, 2013, 09:40:33 PM »
Bumping for the newbies with pups that will be undergoing anesthetic for spaying/neutering.
~AM Murphy, Flying W Farms (B: 1.23.05 ~ Rufus & Kady) CGC, Therapy Dogs International, Inc., RIP 8.22.2016
~Epileptic GSD mix Annie (B: 10.4.04 ~ adopted 5.06) RIP 5.17.08
~EM Frankie (B: 11.11.01 ~ adopted 10.07) RIP 10.28.09
~Epileptic AM Brody, Orion Farms (B: 9.11.09 ~ Merlin & Pandora ~ adopted 4.2.10) RIP 6.15.13
~EM Maggie (B: 10.17.05 ~ adopted 12.06) RIP 12.1.2013
~Chihuahua mix, Daisy (B: approx 2003 ~ adopted 11.09) RIP 1.31.2014

*You get out of a dog only what you are willing to put into it.

Offline MParlier

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Re: Anesthesia and the American Mastiff (VERY important!)!!
« Reply #6 on: August 09, 2013, 10:35:50 PM »
Wanted to bump once again for new members.   :red_dancer:
~AM Murphy, Flying W Farms (B: 1.23.05 ~ Rufus & Kady) CGC, Therapy Dogs International, Inc., RIP 8.22.2016
~Epileptic GSD mix Annie (B: 10.4.04 ~ adopted 5.06) RIP 5.17.08
~EM Frankie (B: 11.11.01 ~ adopted 10.07) RIP 10.28.09
~Epileptic AM Brody, Orion Farms (B: 9.11.09 ~ Merlin & Pandora ~ adopted 4.2.10) RIP 6.15.13
~EM Maggie (B: 10.17.05 ~ adopted 12.06) RIP 12.1.2013
~Chihuahua mix, Daisy (B: approx 2003 ~ adopted 11.09) RIP 1.31.2014

*You get out of a dog only what you are willing to put into it.

Offline MParlier

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Re: Anesthesia and the American Mastiff (VERY important!)!!
« Reply #7 on: October 11, 2013, 03:40:57 PM »
Another bump for all the new puppy owners.   :dancing_dog:
~AM Murphy, Flying W Farms (B: 1.23.05 ~ Rufus & Kady) CGC, Therapy Dogs International, Inc., RIP 8.22.2016
~Epileptic GSD mix Annie (B: 10.4.04 ~ adopted 5.06) RIP 5.17.08
~EM Frankie (B: 11.11.01 ~ adopted 10.07) RIP 10.28.09
~Epileptic AM Brody, Orion Farms (B: 9.11.09 ~ Merlin & Pandora ~ adopted 4.2.10) RIP 6.15.13
~EM Maggie (B: 10.17.05 ~ adopted 12.06) RIP 12.1.2013
~Chihuahua mix, Daisy (B: approx 2003 ~ adopted 11.09) RIP 1.31.2014

*You get out of a dog only what you are willing to put into it.

Offline MParlier

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Re: Anesthesia and the American Mastiff (VERY important!)!!
« Reply #8 on: November 19, 2013, 08:51:56 PM »
:bump:
~AM Murphy, Flying W Farms (B: 1.23.05 ~ Rufus & Kady) CGC, Therapy Dogs International, Inc., RIP 8.22.2016
~Epileptic GSD mix Annie (B: 10.4.04 ~ adopted 5.06) RIP 5.17.08
~EM Frankie (B: 11.11.01 ~ adopted 10.07) RIP 10.28.09
~Epileptic AM Brody, Orion Farms (B: 9.11.09 ~ Merlin & Pandora ~ adopted 4.2.10) RIP 6.15.13
~EM Maggie (B: 10.17.05 ~ adopted 12.06) RIP 12.1.2013
~Chihuahua mix, Daisy (B: approx 2003 ~ adopted 11.09) RIP 1.31.2014

*You get out of a dog only what you are willing to put into it.

 

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