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11 Week Old Chihuahua Puppy Dies After Spay Surgery?

I am having a really tough day...but I need a second opinion.  Sorry I'm writing a story here.

This morning, I brought my 3 chihuahua mixes to the vet to get them all fixed.  I have (or had) 2 females and one male. One of the females (who was the sister of the male...same litter - 11 weeks old), after her spay surgery was completed, apparently crashed before she woke up from the anesthetic.

The doctor told me that she may have suffered a reaction from the anesthesia which caused her to stop breathing.  They said her vitals were fine throughout the entire surgery, yet when she was checked on about a half hour later by one of the techs, they realized she didn't wake up and wasn't breathing.  They tried CPR and gave her "life-saving" drugs (epinephrine...and the like which cost me an extra $70)...which I understand is hospital protocol.  

She was the first one to go into surgery.  Since the doctor knew that the male was from the same litter (and therefore the problem could have been genetic), he used a different (and three times as expensive) anesthetic to put him under. He woke up with no problems and is already home, being his normal self...although I'm pretty sure he already knows his sister isn't here, so I'm a little scared to see what happens when he is totally sure she's gone.

Unfortunately, this vet charges $210 for a necropsy, and I really can't afford that since I just shelled out plenty of money for all the other procedures.

My question Is... is this common?...especially after routine surgery? Should I be worried about the male?  If the male needs another procedure sometime in his life, should I tell the vet to make sure not to use the "house" anesthetic?

Thank for all your help...

Bill McD.
San Angelo, TX
1 Responses
234713 tn?1283526659
MEDICAL PROFESSIONAL
I am so very sorry that you Chi-Pug did not survive!

Unfortunately, death from anesthesia does occur more often that any owner or veterinarian would ever want.  

Preanesthetic testing helps to minimize this dire outcome, but even with the most sophisticated tests there is always that risk.  Anesthetic reaction is one possibility but your puppy could have had an underlying abnormality which was undetectable, such as an abnormality in the structure of her heart, for instance.  Your second puppy may not have had an abnormality despite being a sibling.  It was wise of your vet to try another anesthetic protocol just in case.

There is an excellent and highly detailed article by Dr. Mike Richards from the "Vet Info site".  He was answering a question similar to yours also about a Chihuahua and I hope that it will help to provide you with additional insight:
http://www.vetinfo.com/danthdeath.html
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