Thursday, April 16, 2009

Will My Cat be Safe Under Anesthesia/Teeth Cleaning?

Hi, my cat is six years old, twelve pounds and due for a teeth cleaning. I%26#039;ve heard stories about pets not waking up from anesthesia and I%26#039;m wondering if this is common or a freak thing that happens. Thank you!

Will My Cat be Safe Under Anesthesia/Teeth Cleaning?
Well, my cat just went under anesthesia for an operation and he was fine. That is just a freak accident that happens usally when the cat is really old. Cats live along time so 6 years isn%26#039;t an old cat. Just relax and your cat will be fine.
Reply:It%26#039;s pretty safe. If death was common, they would not use it. Most of it relies on how good the vet is and if he knows what he is doing.
Reply:If your vet is not using the isofluorine gas for anesthesia then find a vet who does use it. It is a freak thing that can happen. I can only say that my Cameo had her teeth cleaned every year from age 15 to 22 and had no problems.

Her last cleaning was very expensive - she went in in the morning and was given fluids, had the cleaning around noon, and stayed to receive more fluids in the afternoon before she came home. While under anesthesia she was on a heart monitor and blood pressure cuff. Those were extraordinary measure because of her advanced age.

There should be no problems with a six year old cat. My 16 yr old cat just had a routine cleaning last month.
Reply:Get preoperative bloodwork. The price for it can be wildly different at each vet. Mine charged $25, I%26#039;ve heard quotes as high as 80 so call around. The bloodwork can determine whether or not its safe for the pet to be put under and a good vet will use it to make an informed decison as to whether the benefits of the procedure outweigh the risk.
Reply:When we clean a cats teeth, we do labwork first to determine overall health--kidney and liver function especially. They receive a complete physical exam. They receive an IV catheter and IV fluids to combat dehydration and to keep blood pressure normal. Heart, oxygen and blood pressure are monitored. They are placed on a warm pad and are given warm fluids. They are induced with propoflo (just about the safest anesthesia there is) and intubated and maintained on Isoflurane. A CVT does the monitoring and cleaning. Antibiotics are dispensed as needed, depending on degree of infection. Pain medication is given as well as dispensed if there are any extractions. After the procedure, they are monitored and placed on warming pads until fully awake and walking. Several hours later they are offered food. We send them home at the end of the day. It is rare for us to have anesthetic problems, as we do everything we can to assure a safe and healthy outcome. Individual reactions can not be predicted, but it is very uncommon at our practice. You can ask your vet what protocol they use and make an informed decision. By the way, most of the pets who need dental cleanings are rather elderly and they do great, too! :) I persnally clean my pets teeth whenever I need to, and I don%26#039;t worry one bit.
Reply:For an elective procedure such as dentistry, your vet will recommend lab work prior to anesthesia. ( Just like your Dr. would require of you ).

It costs more, but it will let your Vet know about the basic health of your cat before administering anesthesia. This is important because if there is say, a liver situation going on, the Vet probably would elect to wait for the dental. (take care of the liver, then the teeth.)

I would also have fluids run during the procedure. Once again this costs more, but keeps your cat hydrated and leaves an open line for additional meds, should they be necessary.

I bet your cat will be ok, although no one can predict.

Different anesthetics are available nowadays and your Vet can pick which combinations are the best for your pet.
Reply:We use Isoflorane where I work %26amp; it is very safe.Anesthesia is always a risk, but it is a very small % of pets who have a problem.It is more likely your cat gets gingivitis or an abscessed tooth from lack of dental care.So keep your cat healthy %26amp; clean those teeth!
Reply:Anesthesia deaths were more common years ago, though they were rare even then.

With improved gas anesthesia and the modern monitoring equipment, anesthesia deaths are now very unusual. They can still happen, of course, because nothing is sure in life, but I work at a busy clinic and in the six years I have been there, we have had no anesthesia deaths and only one serious adverse reaction -- a cat whose body temperature got very low during recovery. She recovered well once we got her on a heating pad and applied hot water bottles.

Ask if the cat is going to be intubated and if a vet tech will be monitoring the cat during the procedure. The answer to both questions should be yes. If not, I would take the cat elsewhere.
Reply:As in all things, unforeseen things can happen. Vets take great precautions, and that usually starts with blood tests. That allows them to know if there are any underlying problems so they can tailor the anesthesia.

There are no guarantees, but if your cat has teeth problems, there is almost a guarantee of serious things happening if it is not attended to.

When my cat had her dental work done, not only were her teeth cleaned, a sealer was put on, and it has been very effective, even several years later. It was done under anesthesia, and she was older than your cat.

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