A couple of weeks ago, I took my Chihuahua to the vet to be checked for a peeing problem. She was given an antibiotic and sent home, after I was told that she needed her teeth cleaned and a couple of baby teeth extracted. The vet also ran blood work to make sure she didn't have any problems. Her bloodwork came back fine.
Last week I took her back in to have her teeth cleaned. I got a call from the vet saying that she had died after being given a sedative. She hadn't even been given the gas to put her under, yet. He said that her heart just stopped. He also told me that in his experience, when this has happened, the dog has had an underlying heart condition. I am just so sad and at a loss because I don't feel like I have any real explanation. How do I know if she had a heart problem, or if she was given an overdose, or what????
I am so sorry about your tragedy, and the loss of your dog!
Sadly, 1 in 400 veterinary patients die in anesthesia related deaths in this country. The rate for humans is 1 in 1000. The difference between humans and animals of other species is that an anesthesiologist administers anesthesia to humans. Even so, a high percentage of very healthy humans die from no apparent reason during anesthesia, and this is also true of pets. Yes, it could be due to an unidentified heart or other abnormality or sensitivity to the anesthesia.
To determine if it is due to a heart problem or to overdose, a post-mortem (autopsy) would have to be performed, with biopsies to determine anatomical abnormalities and a toxicology screen would also have to be performed to see if there was an overdose of anesthesia.
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