Canis ISSN: 2398-2942

Anesthesia: breed considerations

Contributor(s): Jackie Brearley, Jo Murrell

Introduction

  • It is not uncommon for dog owners to believe that their own dog is at a high risk of anesthesia related complications that can be directly attributed to its breed, particularly if their dog is an unusual breed that is not frequently encountered in the general dog population. There is increasing evidence that these owners' perceptions have some basis in fact.
  • The aim of this article is to discuss the evidence that is available to support breed specific considerations for anesthesia, highlighting how this might affect anesthetic management of these breeds. It will also review how pharmacogenomics is starting to be applied to veterinary medicine and the implications for anesthesia. It is not the intention to discuss anesthesia challenges presented by the specific breeds of dog that are over represented in the prevalence of a specific medical condition, eg mitral valve disease in Cavalier King Charles Spaniels Cavalier King Charles Spaniel Heart: mitral valve degenerative disease. However the likelihood of concurrent disease within a specific breed of dog should be taken into consideration during the pre-operative examination of the patient.

Are some breeds of dog at a higher risk of anesthesia-related complications?

  • The most recent epidemiological study that investigated perioperative mortality in small animal anesthesia was carried out in the UK between 2002 and 2004. Data were collected from nearly 100,000 anesthetics and sedations of dogs carried out in first opinion small animal practice and referral practices, anesthetic and sedation related death was defined as perioperative death within 48 hours of termination of the procedure, except where death was solely due to inoperable surgical or pre-existing medical conditions.
  • Major risk factors for death were investigated using multivariable logistic regression models. The study on univariant analysis found that German Shepherd dogs German Shepherd Dog , West Highland White terriers West Highland White Terrier and Cocker spaniels English Cocker Spaniel were over represented in the study group compared to the control group (Cross breeds) as were Toy, Utility and Pastoral breed groups. Therefore small breed dogs will generally be at a greater risk, but this is attributed to the effect of body size rather than breed per se. Previous studies (Clarke & Hall, 1990, Dodman & Lumb, 1992) have identified increased complications with brachycephalic breeds and terrier breeds suggesting that caution with anesthesia of these breeds may be advisable.

The effects of breed-related body size on anesthesia

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Brachycephalic breeds and anesthesia

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Pharmacogenomics

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Greyhounds and other Sighthounds

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Boxers and Dachshunds

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Further Reading

Publications

Refereed papers

  • Recent references from VetMedResource and PubMed.
  • Harrison R L, Clark C, Corletto F (2012) Comparison of mean heart rate in anesthetized dachshunds and other breeds of dogs undergoing spinal Magnetic Resonance Imaging. Vet Anaesth Analg 39, 230-235 PubMed.
  • Tappin S W, Goodfellow M R, Peters I R, Day M J, Hall E J, Mealey K L (2012) Frequency of the mutant MDR1 allele in dogs in the UK. Vet Rec 171, 373 PubMed.
  • KuKanich B, Papich M (2011) Pharmacokinetics and antinociceptive effects of oral tramadol hydrochloride administration in Greyhounds. Am J Vet Res 72,256-262 PubMed.
  • Mercurio A (2011) Complications of upper airway surgery in companion animals. Vet Clin N Am Sm Anim Pract 41, 969-980 PubMed.
  • Gonzales K (2010) Medication administration errors and the pediatric population: a systematic search of the literature. J Ped Mursing 25, 555-565.
  • Brodbelt D (2009) Perioperative mortality in small animal anaesthesia. Vet J 182, 152-161PubMed.
  • Polderman K H, Herold I (2009) Therapeutic hypothermia and controlled normothermia in the intensive care unit: practical considerations, side effects, and cooling methods. Crit Care Med 37, 1101-1120.
  • Searle R, Hopkins P M (2009) Pharmacogenomic variability and anaesthesia. Brit J Anaes 103, 14-25 PubMed.
  • Sharma A, McNeill J (2009) To scale or not to scale: the principles of dose extrapolationBr J Pharmacol 157, 907-921 PubMed.
  • Fleischer S, Sharkey M, Mealey K, Ostrander E, Martinez M (2008) Pharmacogenetic and metabolic differences between dog breeds: their impact on canine medicine and the use of the dog as a preclinical animal model. The AAPS Journal 10, 110-119 PubMed.
  • KuKanich B, Borum S L (2008) The disposition and behavioural effects of methadone in Greyhounds. Vet Anaes Anal 35, 242-248 PubMed.
  • Pottie R G, Dart C M, Perkins N R, Hodgson D R (2007) Effect of hypothermia on recovery from general anaesthesia in the dog. Aust Vet J 85, 158-162 PubMed.
  • Inslet S R, Sessler D I (2006) Perioperartive thermoregulation and temperature monitoring. Anesthesiol Clin 24, 823-827.
  • Mealey K L (2006) Pharmacogenetics. Vet Clin N Am Sm Anim Pract 36, 961-973.
  • Mealey K L, Munyard K A, Bentjen S A (2005) Frequency of the mutant MDR1 allele associated with multidrug sensitivity in a sample of herding dogs living in Australia. Vet Parasitol 131, 193-196 PubMed.
  • Hugnet C, Bentjen S A, Mealey K L (2004) Frequency of the mutant MDR1 allele associated with multidrug sensitivity in a sample of collies from France. J Vet Pharmacol Therap 27, 227-229 PubMed.
  • KuKanich B, Papich M (2004) Pharmacokinetics of tramadol and the metabolite O-desmethyltramadol in dogs. J Vet Pharmacol Therap 27, 239-246 PubMed.
  • Mealey K L (2004) Therapeutic implications of the MDR-1 gene. J Vet Pharmacol Therap 27, 257-264 PubMed.
  • Satas S et al (1996) MAC for halothane and isoflurane during normothermia and hypothermia in the newborn piglet. Acta Anaesthesiol Scand 40, 452-456.
  • Dodman N H & Lamb L A (1992) Survey of small animal anesthetic practice in Vermont. J Am Anim Hosp Assoc 28, 439-444.
  • Clarke K W & Hall L W (1990) A survey of anaesthesia in small animal practice. AVA/BSAVA report. J Vet Anaesth 17, 4-10.

Other sources of information

  • Pre-medication and anaesthesia in dogs and cats. Summary of Recommendations for 2009 Expert Round Table Discussion.Vetoquinol Academia.


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