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Mickey Needs A Dental

Guest mbfilby

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Guest mbfilby

Mickey really needs a dental. I have been putting it off for awhile because I am scared to death of the anesthesia.


She is 8 and in good health. Her teeth don't seem to bother her, but her breath is pretty bad. It is definitely past due time.


I have spoke to the clinic who reassured me that in an older sensitive hound, they will only use gas. I plan on doing the pre-op blood work and having an IV catheter open. I will talk to the Vet and ensure that they are using Isoflurane only.


When they did the extraction on Cy, he came home in a miserable state. He was totally out of it and looked just pitiful. I understand that this was an extraction and he is a young healthy male who also was given pain management, but It seems like he was too doped up.


How safe is gas only? I suppose I am looking for encouragement.

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Guest PiagetsMom

I'm sorry, I don't have any knowledge regarding the safety of gas for a dental, but I do understand your concern. Anytime either of my pups have been under for a dental I've worried. Mirage especially seemed to take a much longer time to get his legs afterwards, but both of my pups have come through their dentals with no major problems.


Good luck, and I hope all goes well for your Mickey :grouphug

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Even though the huge majority of dentals have no complications, we all understand here being frightened of having a beloved hound undergoing anesthesia.


Following is the "Anesthesia" section of "Greyhound Medical Idiosyncracies," by William Feeman, DVM, which he made available on GreyTalk. It sounds like you're already planning on several of the precautions he recommends, and it sounds like he doesn't think there's only One Right Way to perform a safe dental. Plus, remember that even though Mickey was younger when she was spayed, that was a more involved operation and evidently she came through fine. We have had good experiences with the vet using pre-medications before dentals -- less anesthesia needed, so less groggy afterward.


Some veterinarians and some Greyhound rescue groups make specific recommendations

in regards to a “Greyhound anesthetic protocol” because they believe a specific drug is safer than another. In my opinion, any drug is only safe if the person using it is comfortable with it. A number of anesthetics are suitable to be used in Greyhounds and depending on which your veterinarian is most familiar with will dictate which would be the safest. No specific protocol will be cited in this packet; however, some general guidelines will be listed to help reduce the risk associated with anesthesia.

1. Never use thiobarbiturate anesthetics in Greyhounds. Never never never! Oh yeah and did I say never? Some specialists believe that a one time only dose of a thiobarbituate in a Greyhound is acceptable; however, there are many other safer options!

2. Premedications: these medications provide sedation, analgesia (pain relieving properties) and allow a lower dose of an anesthetic to be used. The most commonly used premedications include sedatives (Acepromazine, Medetomidine), opioids (Torbugesic, Butorphonal, Buprenorphine, Morphine, etc.) and anti-cholinergics (atropine and glycopyrollate). The anti-cholinergics provide cardiovascular support. These medications may be used in various combinations. Caution should be used when dosing Greyhounds with the premedication Acepromazine as they can be more sensitive to their effects and typically require lower dosing.

3. Induction agents: Telazol, Propofol and Ketamine/Valium are all perfectly appropriate anesthetics for Greyhounds. I would recommend using whichever your veterinarian is most

familiar with - just remember no thiobarbiturates (Thiopenthol).

4. Gas anesthesia: Isoflurane and Sevoflurane are both perfectly acceptable and there is no

significant clinical difference between the two in their use in general practice.

5. Intravenous catheters: it is always a good idea to have an intravenous catheter placed for surgery. This gives the surgeon instant venous access in case of an emergency and allows your Greyhound to receive fluids during surgery which help in maintaining normal blood flow and blood pressure.

6. Presurgical bloodwork: it is always a good idea to have presurgical bloodwork done. The

bloodwork allows for a quick check of liver and kidney functions among other things which may influence which anesthetics are used or if surgery should even be performed. The bloodwork should ideally be drawn within four weeks of the anesthetic event.

7. Temperatures: ask to have your Greyhound’s temperature monitored periodically during and

after surgery. In rare instances, Greyhounds have been known to have a reaction to an anesthetic or muscle fasciculations which allowed their body temperatures to climb in excess of 106 degrees. Monitoring of the patient allows for quick recognition and treatment of this problem.

8. Drug Metabolism: Greyhounds have lower concentrations of the drug metabolizing enzyme

hepatic cytochrome P-450 (CYP) in the liver, which can cause an erratic metabolism of certain medications. This is of importance with anesthesia as a patient taking a medication that is metabolized by CYP enzymes may take longer to recover from it. For example, a Greyhound receiving the antibiotic Chloramphenicol may take hours instead of minutes to recover from the anesthetic Propofol.

Edited by EllenEveBaz


Ellen, with brindle Milo and the blonde ballerina, Gelsey

remembering Eve, Baz, Scout, Romie, Nutmeg, and Jeter

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I'm with you, anes is scary. My boy has been "under" twice & even though we researched & used recommended safe drugs & dosages, it still took him what

seemed like forever to wake up completely & be able to motivate. Last time, he laid on a bed in the treatment area at the vets for hours with nary a peep,

and we were beginning to wonder if I'd have to carry him home. After going to the bathroom & crying for a bit, I finally got it together & just very

matter-of-factly walked back, patted his butt & said "you ready to go home?" The booger just jumped right up like that's all he'd been waiting for.

He slept most of the evening but was fine the next morning. Hope all goes well.

Blessed is the person who has earned the love of an old dog.

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Guest KennelMom

I would have pre-surgery bloodwork done just to make sure there are no red flags in that. If that comes back normal, the dental should be fairly routine. I'm sure the adoption group would have told you if there was a problem during the spay surgery with recovery from anesthesia. Most vets are well aware of the special issues greyhounds have and can perform surgeries on them as safely as other breeds.

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Guest mbfilby

I would have pre-surgery bloodwork done just to make sure there are no red flags in that. If that comes back normal, the dental should be fairly routine. I'm sure the adoption group would have told you if there was a problem during the spay surgery with recovery from anesthesia. Most vets are well aware of the special issues greyhounds have and can perform surgeries on them as safely as other breeds.


Mickey has been put under twice before. Once 5 years ago for her spay and dental, and once two years ago for a torn dew claw. Both times she had no issues, but she is older now, and honestly I get crazy every time..


It has to be done for her health... Thanks for the replies..

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Sending lots of good thoughts. Your concerns are so completely understood.


Aquitaine is having extractions done next month by the only board certified dental surgeon in NYC. He is who my own vet wants me to see. I asked my vet to do it and he refused. He said that as good as he is with greys, he doesn't feel secure enough to do the dental (and he probably doesn't want to see me hysterical if anything goes wrong!). I have already had a long talk with the surgeon and feel good about him. As an added bonus, the new head of the center will also be the anaesthesiologist and he is from Ohio State and has worked with Dr. Couto. I can't figure out any way this could be a better situation.


One thing that the surgeon said that did help me calm down was that I had less cause for concern about her being a bleeder since she made it through her initial dental and spay with no problems. She has also had both an accident and an attack in the past 12 months and had to have Propofol for the clean up surgery following the attack.


He was fine about having Amicar on hand. He also mentioned a drug to bring her temperature down if it should spike once she is home (forget the name...anyone know what it is? Begins with a "D".). My own vet will do the pre-surgery bloodwork and start her on anti-biotics if he thinks she needs them.


Thanks, EllenEveBaz for posting the great information.

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