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Greyhound Anesthesia Death


Guest Addie
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Guest Addie

a little over a year ago I lost my sweet girl Addie. She went in for a dental/ tooth extraction she was 6 yo. She did wonderful for the whole procedure that lasted about 2-3 hours then when the gas was turned off her heart stopped. I've had many people look over the drugs she was given and so forth, looked time and time again online to find a cause to why this would happen. All I can come up with is....whoops...... your dog died... too bad.

Why can't more be done to stop this? It was the very worst thing to happen to us, and I know its happened to other people/ dogs. I know they do studies for cancer, and that's great..... but why not for anesthesia death?

 

I will give the first info,

 

 

 

Pre-medication:
Morphine - 6 mg/kg - 1.3 mLs IM
Rimadyl - 1 mL/50# - 1.5 mLs SQ
No acepromazine or any other medications used.
Blood pressure and temp taken before induction - I don't remember the exact numbers now but they were both normal.
Induction:
Ketamine: 7 mg/kg - 2.3 mLs
Valium: 0.2 mg/kg - 1.3 mLs
Had to redose to get her indubated - Ketamine 0.5 mLs/Valium 0.25 mLs

IV fluids given at 20 mg/kg for the first hour (670 mLs/hr) and then 10 mg/kg (340 mLs/hr) after that. She got a total of 1348 mLs of fluids.

Maintained on Isofluorane gas anesthesia.
Dr. Smith did CPR and we gave atropine, epinephrine, lidocaine, and hetastach to try and bring her back.

 

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I think the problem is that when they have determined the cause of a death during surgery, it turned out to be something they couldn't have prevented short of just not doing the surgery in the first place--and often the surgery isn't optional. Sometimes it's a preexisting condition or sensitivity that isn't even suspected until the dog dies--and it's not something you can test for. Or it's something that comes up in surgery--I lost my first greyhound to a pulmonary embolism during surgery to implant a pin in a broken leg; if the surgeon had known in advance that she was going to throw a blood clot, I don't think there would have been any way to prevent it short of not operating--and that wasn't an option. There are complications like malignant hypothermia; that can be fatal the first time a dog experiences it, and it can happen to dogs who have had previous surgeries with no complications.

 

Cancer isn't instantly fatal. There are ways to treat it. And maybe, someday, ways to prevent it because they'll know exactly what causes it. Cancer doesn't stand still, but at least it moves slowly enough for doctors to target it because typically it advances in a predictable fashion. The only thing that is predictable in anesthesia deaths is that such a death is unpredictable. And instant. And devastating to an owner who was doing the best he/she could do for a beloved dog--and lost the dog without a chance to say goodbye.

 

I'm so sorry you lost your dear Addie. And I'm sorry her death haunts you so. A lot of things about Oreo's death still get to me. Some of them are silly: the ER or the surgeon's office lost her collar with all her tags, and I very much wanted that back. (Superstitiously, every time since then that I've let a dog go to surgery, I've kept the dog's collar. If I keep the collar, I'll get a dog back to go with it.) Other things aren't so silly: I wanted to see her the morning before the surgery, but they didn't want me to go in because they'd finally gotten her settled and they didn't want her to get excited when she saw me. And so I let them talk me out of seeing her because, after all, I'd get to see her after the surgery... That was seven years ago and it still bothers me. The last time she saw me was the night before, when I handed her over to the tech when we first got to the hospital. She went to surgery 20 hours later--and died--and we never saw each other again.

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Kathy and Q (CRT Qadeer from Fuzzy's Cannon and CRT Bonnie) and
Jane (WW's Aunt Jane from Trent Lee and Aunt M); photos to come.

Missing Silver (5.19.2005-10.27.2016), Tigger (4.5.2007-3.18.2016),
darling Sam (5.10.2000-8.8.2013), Jacey-Kasey (5.19.2003-8.22.2011), and Oreo (1997-3.30.2006)

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Let me add this: anesthesia deaths aren't really like cancer deaths. They're like heart attacks. (In the case of your girl, Addie, it literally was a heart attack.)

 

Why do people die of heart attacks? There are drugs, there are possible operations, there are all kinds of machines that can scan for problems and surgeons who can fix those problems. Why do people admitted to the hospital for heart trouble die of heart attacks while they're right there, receiving medical attention?

 

Every year, people die of heart attacks. And often, it's the first heart attack that's fatal. Every year, you hear of some talented, presumably fit young athlete who drops dead--and it turns out to be a previously unsuspected heart defect. So school athletic programs take all kinds of precautions: no workouts in hot weather, lots of breaks, rehydration, training, fitness work. Medical exams designed to specifically target potential heart problems.

 

And every year, another athlete or two--or more--dies of a heart attack.

 

I think anesthesia deaths are like that. You can study, you can test, you can prescribe--and you still can't prevent them.

Edited by KF_in_Georgia

15060353021_97558ce7da.jpg
Kathy and Q (CRT Qadeer from Fuzzy's Cannon and CRT Bonnie) and
Jane (WW's Aunt Jane from Trent Lee and Aunt M); photos to come.

Missing Silver (5.19.2005-10.27.2016), Tigger (4.5.2007-3.18.2016),
darling Sam (5.10.2000-8.8.2013), Jacey-Kasey (5.19.2003-8.22.2011), and Oreo (1997-3.30.2006)

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I'm so sorry for your loss. I can imagine how you must feel in losing your beloved to ... no good, knowable reason. :(

 

There are studies for appropriate anaesthesia protocols. Probably more of them in the professional veterinary journals than in stuff for laypeople.

 

My own vet tends to use less premedication for sighthounds, and to keep the doses minimal. Even so, we had one who didn't want to wake up. The dog did wake up. We were lucky. No science involved there, just sheer dumb luck.

Star aka Starz Ovation (Ronco x Oneco Maggie*, litter #48538), Coco aka Low Key (Kiowa Mon Manny x Party Hardy, litter # 59881), and mom in Illinois
We miss Reko Batman (Trouper Zeke x Marque Louisiana), 11/15/95-6/29/06, Rocco the thistledown whippet, 04/29/93-10/14/08, Reko Zema (Mo Kick x Reko Princess), 8/16/98-4/18/10, the most beautiful girl in the whole USA, my good egg Joseph aka Won by a Nose (Oneco Cufflink x Buy Back), 09/22/2003-03/01/2013, and our gentle sweet Gidget (Digitizer, Dodgem by Design x Sobe Mulberry), 1/29/2006-11/22/2014, gone much too soon. Never forgetting CJC's Buckshot, 1/2/07-10/25/10.

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A friend of mine lost her beloved (heart dog) grey to an anaesthesia death a couple of weeks ago. It wasn't a heart attack.

 

He broke his ulna and radius, and it was a compound fracture. It happened on a Saturday after the vets were closed. She couldn't get her own vet out, but managed to find one open who took him in, stabilized the leg with a Robert Jones splint and put him on pain-killers and an antibiotic drip until surgery could be done after the weekend. Someone was there 24/7.

 

When they did the op it all went well. Bones were plated, and the dog was stable right up to the time he began to overheat and then they simply couldn't stop it. It appears they did all the right things (a greyhound specialist here was consulted after the event because my friend was so angry and he said he wouldn't have been able to do anything more and would probably have lost him, too).

 

It wasn't malignant hyperthermia, because he'd been anaesthetised before with no problems at all, and so have all his siblings. It was just a tragic, unforsee-able and catastrophic accident. Apparently, hyperthermia can happen simply with enough stress.

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The plural of anecdote is not data

Brambleberry Greyhounds My Etsy Shop

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I am very sorry that you lost Addie this way. I would be same as you, asking the question why? I don't much about anesthesia but am extremely sensitive whenever our vet mentions it and it's the last thing I want to do unless we have no choice.

Kyle with Stewie ('Super C Ledoux, Super C Sampson x Sing It Blondie) and forever missing my three angels, Jack ('Roy Jack', Greys Flambeau x Miss Cobblepot) and Charlie ('CTR Midas Touch', Leo's Midas x Hallo Argentina) and Shelby ('Shari's Hooty', Flying Viper x Shari Carusi) running free across the bridge.

Gus an coinnich sinn a'rithist my boys and little girl.

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I, too, lost a dog after a dental. All was well. I had even spoken with the vet about how to care for her when she came home. I was to go up there so I could be the first face she saw when she was totally awake. A few minutes later, I get a call to hurry because she arrested. My vet did all she could but couldn't bring my baby back. I was at least able to say good bye and hold her as she left. Gah, this still makes me sob.

 

I so understand you pain. My vet and the staff was almost as distraught as I was. I never saw my vet cry like she did that day.

 

Hugs to you.

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Cindy with Miss Fancypants, Paris Bueller, Zeke, and Angus 
Dante (Dg's Boyd), Zoe (In a While), Brady (Devilish Effect), Goose (BG Shotgun), Maverick (BG ShoMe), Maggie (All Trades Jax), Sherman (LNB Herman Bad) and Indy (BYB whippet) forever in my heart
The flame that burns the brightest, burns the fastest and leaves the biggest shadow

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I'm so sorry for you, and everyone else who has lost their hound during/after a minor procedure. It's heartbreaking. But just as with human medical procedures, things happen. We speak of "greyhound savvy vets," and newbies sometimes freak out and think that they need a greyhound expert for everything--but as far as I can tell, what vets really need to know is that Greyhounds are extra sensitive to anesthesia and also at higher risk for bleeding and take appropriate measures.


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Susan,  Hamish,  Mister Bigglesworth and Nikita Stanislav. Missing Ming, George, and Buck

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I'm very sorry to hear about Addie. This is the primary reason why we are religious about brushing our houndies teeth - I don't want them getting anesthesia for anything that's not a life-threatening illness/injury because the risks are too high. A few years ago DH took Capri in for a dental and the vet told him that everything went fine. A few months later, I took her in to check for some minor issue and coincidentally got the vet who did her dental. The vet made a comment about how Capri scared them all when she was coming out of anesthesia for the dental, and then brushed on by it. I didn't pursue it because Capri is fine, but it did perk up my ears and scare me.

 

And agree with the comment about it happening to people, too. One of the girls I went to high school with - a really sweet, pretty girl who everybody liked - went in for breast reduction the year after graduation. And never came home. Super tragic to die so young and for such a senseless reason. (anesthesia, not the breast reduction)

Sharon, Loki, Freyja, Capri (bridge angel and most beloved heart dog), Ajax (bridge angel) and Sweetie Pie (cat)

Visit Hound-Safe.com by Something Special Pet Supplies for muzzles and other dog safety products

:gh_bow

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"I, too, lost a dog after a dental. All was well. I had even spoken with the vet about how to care for her when she came home. I was to go up there so I could be the first face she saw when she was totally awake. A few minutes later, I get a call to hurry because she arrested. My vet did all she could but couldn't bring my baby back. I was at least able to say good bye and hold her as she left. Gah, this still makes me sob.

 

I so understand you pain. My vet and the staff was almost as distraught as I was. I never saw my vet cry like she did that day.

 

Hugs to you."

 

exactly the same thing happened to a good friend of mine, but it was a terrier who was 10 years old. sorry for your loss, but don't think twice about having the dental done. it's not your fault, things happen. just remember the good life you gave your dear addie.

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Guest Addie

The vet we go to does not see a lot of greyhounds but they see a bunch of Wolfhounds and they treat them just like a greyhound would (except for the size of course) a "greyhound vet" is not in the area, so we go to one with sight hound experience. I often think about how I wish I could go back in time and stop myself from making that appointment!!! But she had periodontal and her gums were real bad around her 3 back teeth. She would probably be in terrible pain from it if nothing was done ='(

If I ever HAVE to have a dog put under again, I'm going to have a total breakdown

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Jenny- My heart still breaks about Addie. You know how much I loved her. She had over come heart worm and had to be kept calm for 6 months (which wasn't easy for a young dog).

She had the best home I could ever want for her plus I still got to see her a few times a year. :)

 

Please don't beat yourself up :grouphug

 

Let me know if I can do anything.

 

~Kari

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Kari and the pups.
Run free sweet Hana 9/21/08-9/12/10. Missing Sparks with every breath.
Passion 10/16/02-5/25/17

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If I ever HAVE to have a dog put under again, I'm going to have a total breakdown

 

About a year and a half after I lost Oreo, I had two dogs that needed a dental. Jacey's teeth were especially bad; she had awful teeth all her life, no matter what you did. This would have been late summer 2007: Sam was 7, Jacey was 4.

 

I scheduled both dogs for the same day. There was no possible way for me to go through all those emotions twice.

 

The vet's office offered to keep the dogs the night before so the vet could get started on them early the next morning. I refused. I knew I wouldn't sleep without those dogs in my bed. The vet's office told me to drop them at 8am. I wound up not sleeping, anyway. It didn't help that Sam had had a bad experience in a previous dental--seizures brought on by ketamine. (He's never had ketamine since.) The vet tech told me they'd probably be finished about 3pm.

 

I went home, made myself stay busy. At 3 o'clock, I didn't get a call, but I headed for the vet's office. They had finished with Sam, who was in a kennel in their recovery area, and they were just starting Jacey. Turns out, they do dogs they think might have a problem first on their surgery days; they do their "routine" procedures later in the day.

 

So I left the vet's without my dogs, and I cried like a baby all the way home. Pulled in the driveway and sat there for a minute, then backed the car out and drove right back to the vet's. I told the receptionist I'd be sitting in their waiting room until my dogs were ready to leave. (In the back of my head, I think I had decided I wasn't going to lose a dog under anesthesia and not be there to say goodbye.)

 

So I sat there. I cried periodically, and apologized about it to other people in the waiting room. I had told the receptionist not to hurry the vet, so he didn't even know I was there until he called me at 5 to say I could come get my dogs and I told him I was in his waiting room. The dogs were fine. I took them home, and all three of us slept like logs.

 

Subsequent anesthesias have been less traumatic for me--and for my vet's receptionist. We're not doing any more dentals or any other surgeries on Sam: he's 13 now. Jacey lived another 4 years after that dental, had two more dentals, and died at 8 from a different nightmare (immune mediated thrombocytopenia). I have Silver now. She was spayed and had a dental (lost 2 teeth) at age 6, and I know she didn't handle the after-effects of the anesthesia well; I had to take her back the next day for a shot of Cerenia to control the nausea.

 

Those of us who have lost a dog in surgery--or who know a dog that died in surgery--never face another surgical procedure with quite as much serenity as we once had. But I couldn't refuse to do the dentals for Sam and Jacey and compromise their health because of my fears about what happened to Oreo.

 

When you have to, you'll make the same decision. Just put on a brave front around the dog. Then you can sit in your car or in your vet's waiting room and cry. :)

15060353021_97558ce7da.jpg
Kathy and Q (CRT Qadeer from Fuzzy's Cannon and CRT Bonnie) and
Jane (WW's Aunt Jane from Trent Lee and Aunt M); photos to come.

Missing Silver (5.19.2005-10.27.2016), Tigger (4.5.2007-3.18.2016),
darling Sam (5.10.2000-8.8.2013), Jacey-Kasey (5.19.2003-8.22.2011), and Oreo (1997-3.30.2006)

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I lost Coyote in February during a dental. Called at 2pm and they were just finishing and he was dead at 2:30. No real explanation and I know that I'll never know. It's your worst nightmare come true. No one to blame (except myself for not doing a better job brushing), his BP plummetted, and heart stopped. 2 doses of EPI w/o any response at all. He had hydromorphone and bupe.

Barbara
Akon and Abe
"If you want to hear the patter of little feet, I'll put shoes on my dogs."
http://www.greyhoundadventures.org

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I'm sorry for your loss. Sadly, this isn't just a greyhound thing (as long as they took extra precautions due to the breed). This can happen to any breed, any species. There's a reason humans have to sign consent forms for their own surgeries. There are always risks.

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Guest 4rooers

This may not be relevant-

My vet gave both my dogs nux vomica after their dentals and it seemed to help reverse the effects of the anesthesia. I'm not sure if she gave it to them while they were still under or not. They both came home much more alert and ate as if nothing had been done.My vet practice has a wonderful vet who is an acupuncturist and herbalist.She also gives yunnan baio for excessive bleeding.

Kim

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Guest Addie

I wish there was some way to find out what all the dogs that die like that have in common? like a list of drugs they were given and how much, maybe even what happened during the surgery and what other problems they had? so maybe we could find out what is killing them. Maybe if someone could figure it out they would not of died in vain?

Its just something I think about all the time.

Here is a video I put together for her

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Guest june

What a wonderful tribute to your beautiful girl. It is so obvious you loved each other.

I am so sorry she had to leave you. {{{HUGS}}}

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What an incredibly lovely girl.

 

Again, I'm so sorry for your unexpected, untimely loss.

Star aka Starz Ovation (Ronco x Oneco Maggie*, litter #48538), Coco aka Low Key (Kiowa Mon Manny x Party Hardy, litter # 59881), and mom in Illinois
We miss Reko Batman (Trouper Zeke x Marque Louisiana), 11/15/95-6/29/06, Rocco the thistledown whippet, 04/29/93-10/14/08, Reko Zema (Mo Kick x Reko Princess), 8/16/98-4/18/10, the most beautiful girl in the whole USA, my good egg Joseph aka Won by a Nose (Oneco Cufflink x Buy Back), 09/22/2003-03/01/2013, and our gentle sweet Gidget (Digitizer, Dodgem by Design x Sobe Mulberry), 1/29/2006-11/22/2014, gone much too soon. Never forgetting CJC's Buckshot, 1/2/07-10/25/10.

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