HAVANESE ABC's

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Chocolate Havanese

Anesthetic reactions

There may come a time that your Havanese will require surgery and/or need to be anesthetized for spaying/neutering, dental work, C-section, injury etc. While anesthetics are better and safer than they used to be, there is always some associated risk. Other than potential allergies and sensitivities, heart rate may slow, irregularities develop, blood pressure drop and body functions collapse. For the most part, anesthetics are processed and eliminated through the liver and kidneys. The greatest danger lies in improper metabolic processing for assorted reasons. Physical problems with the organs that metabolize these drugs, including deterioration from aging, can contribute to complications. Your veterinarian can do a preliminary blood panel to detect potential problems. Advise your veterinarian if your Havanese has a heart murmur, respiratory problem or any other chronic condition. These are not necessarily problems during anesthesia, but are important information for your veterinarian to have to make informed decisions if any problems arise.

Along with general anesthesia, some veterinarians use a pre- anesthetic sedative. Some Havanese may be hypersensitive to a relaxant or tranquilizer called Acepromazine or "Ace". The dose prescribed is determined by weight. For sensitive Havanese, this calculated amount may be double of what they actually require. The vet needs to know to reduce the amount for potentially sensitive Havanese or to avoid it altogether. Some veterinarians are willing to skip the pre-anesthetic and just mask down a toy dog so that there are less chemicals to metabolize and thus minimize risks. The ACE/Halothane combination appears to carry risks for some Havanese and it may be best to avoid ACE altogether as it seems to be the one that has provoked the most reactions. There have also been some reported reactions to the combination of Isofluorane and Propofol. Combinations of sedatives/tranquilizers/anesthetics seem to cause more reactions rather than single agents but there is potential for reaction with any agent used.

When anesthetic reactions occur, many dogs are revived to normalcy, some however may have ongoing handicaps and, sadly, severe reactions may be fatal for some few. Knowing about potential anesthetic sensitivities in our breed can help a great deal to avert tragedies. It may be a wise precaution to run pre-surgical blood panels on any Havanese, even young and apparently healthy ones to minimize risks from "hidden" problems. Keep a complete medical history of your dog and take a copy of it with you when you discuss any surgical procedures with your veterinarian.

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