I've waited to write this until I've gathered my thoughts and this post would have a point.  My little girlie dog gave me the scare of a lifetime on Thursday.  She was scheduled for three lump removals.  All just lipomas, but I wanted them removed before removal became a huge ordeal due to size and location.  One is on her back, one on her chest, and then the returning lump in her right foreleg (near elbow, in the muscle).

If I didn't work at the clinic, this post would just say that Bailey's heart rate dropped during surgery.  They repositioned her and gave a medication to bring her heart rate back up.  The catheter gave her doctor a direct port to administer the medication quickly and effectively.  It worked, but there are cautions about anesthesia in the future.

sutures from removal of lump along spine on back

Since I do work at the clinic and have an understanding of what happened, as well as a point, there's a longer version.  We induced with Propoflo via IV catheter.  Propoflo is one of the fastest acting (and out of her system) induction agents available and at her age, I want her system to have the least stress possible.  Surgery proceeded normally and I started to surgically shave then sterile scrub the first lump, on her back.  SurgiVet "yelled at me" and I checked to see what it didn't like, but my co-worker was already acting.  Bailey's heart rate had dropped way too low.  She hovered right around 50bpm, most dogs stay between 100bpm and 140bpm when under anesthesia.  The doctor gave Atropine 1.0cc at a time through her catheter line, 3.0cc later her heart rate was back up to 100bpm and appeared to stabilize.  Still not sure what caused the heart rate drop, but we're trying to figure it out.  

sutures from lump removal on chest (with significant bruising)

At the clinic I work, IV catheter and fluid therapy are optional services for most procedures.  It is always encouraged, but it isn't required.  The IV catheter gave Bailey's doctor a way to quickly administer the necessary medication in order to help her.  It confirmed my beliefs that catheters are necessary.  None of my pets have been operated on without an IV catheter and fluids for years, and likely won't ever be again.

The reason for this post: elect IV catheter and fluids during surgical procedures--I won't go so far as to say it saved Bailey's life, but it sure did help her out.  If it's ever an option, choose it!  If your vet doesn't offer, ask!


Laura, Lance, and Vito said...

Terrifying :( i can't imagine what was going through your head at that moment and I am so glad she's doing ok. I don't think it's even an option to not have our pets have a catheter at my vet clinic and I've never really thought about it before.

Hugs to Bailey

elegy said...

This post is why I can't be in surgery with my own pets :p

I'm glad that, despite the scare, she made it through surgery and is doing well!

Megan said...

I haven't had a problem until now. I'm a little gunshy now about being in surgery with them!

Laura-I'm glad IV catheters aren't an option. I push it for just about every procedure.