It was a bit of a trying time. . . Our Winnie had two teeth pulled during a long surgery that afternoon. We were to pick her up at 7:00. but she wasn't ready to go home then. Our sweet girl had been set to go, but then was given another shot of hydro-morphine for the pain she was experiencing. It would be another 30 minutes. After waiting, she was now going into mild hypothermia due to the accumulation of drugs and her inability to regulate her temperature. She was just a little too cold.
It wasn't the vet's fault. Each dog apparently responds differently. Winnie's oral surgery included two teeth, one with two roots and the other with three which were deep in her jaw bone. The vet explained that on the pain scale, it was a 10. I felt badly for her now she had this complication. But, in the course of helping her, I learned a lot which may in turn help you when your pet has surgery.
Anesthetic drugs over a long duration can render an animal's temperature difficult to regulate. A dog or cat's temperature is normal at 100.5 to 102.5 degrees Fahrenheit. Even without hypothermia, animals must still be kept warm until they normalize. Below 99 degrees, a dog is going into low body temperature which may lead to hypothermia. Here is the scale: Mild Hypothermia body temperature of 90 - 99°F (32 - 35°C); weakness, shivering, and lack of mental alertness; Moderate: Body temperature of 82 - 90°F (28 - 32°C) and muscle stiffness, low blood pressure, stupor and shallow, slow breathing. Severe: Body temperature less than 82°F (28°C) presents fixed and dilated pupils, inaudible heartbeat, difficulty breathing and coma. Winnie's temperature went down to 92 degrees. I was worried!
But with the help of our vet, here's what I learned by this experience:
It is also important to know where the nearest Animal Emergency Hospital is located in case their services are needed during the night. It is generally faster to take your pet there than to rouse your vet and have them attend. If you are not sure about your pet once home after surgery, don't hesitate to contact your vet or go to an emergency vet hospital.
With a bit of extra research, I found out that "Over 80% of dogs suffer hypothermia after surgery with anesthetic."1 With a regimen of painkillers, anti-inflammatory, antibiotics and probiotics, Winnie really started to show her old self by the morning of day three. I kept her on her antibiotics and probiotics as prescribed but slowly weaned her of the others. Today, she is back to normal with a healthy appetite. I learned a lot by Winnie's oral surgery. And yes, she did receive A LOT of Reiki, initially before, during and after her surgery. I truly believe it helped her. Hopefully, this information will help you and your pet, too, should he/or she need surgery.
Side-bar: When Winnie came to us as a 4 1/2 month old pup, her baby teeth were normal. However, when her adult teeth came in, they had reduced enamel base which had worn out on the teeth she needed to have pulled. Our research stated that her mom may have had distemper when she was carrying Winnie in-utero. Also, dogs do not get cavities. They do contract gum disease. Subsequently, even though we brush Winnie's teeth daily, unfortunately, it wasn't enough to fend off further loss of enamel. She now eats softened food; no bones nor hard toys to chew to preserve her remaining teeth.
1. Asociación RUVID. "Over 80% of dogs suffer from hypothermia after surgery with anesthetic." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 21 May 2013. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/05/130521105356.htm>.
Enjoy our beautiful Autumn with your pets
Reana Selody Joubert
Pondering, mulling, musing with pen in hand about animals or people, sometimes family or sometimes wild. Oh, and news & events, too.
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