Although certain medical conditions may cause concern for anesthesia this is true at any age but old age itself is not a disease. A puppy or kitten with a heart problem is an anesthetic concern just as a heart problem would be a concern in a 15 year old pet. With a physical exam, preoperative bloodwork, and a consultation with the doctor concerning expectations, anesthesia can be pursued at any age without undue risk.
Many dogs and cats suffer painful dental conditions because their pet parents are afraid of anesthesia. At Hope Animal Hospital we are well aware of the love you have for your pet and your fear that something might go wrong. We also talk to clients who return for their post operative visits and are delighted that their older pets are acting like puppies and kittens again after dental work or surgery.
We love older pets, and their people, and we want to help your pet live a more pain free life and help you feel brave enough to pursue the surgery or dental care you know your pet needs. Remember that if you do not have needed dental work done there is a 100% chance of the condition getting worse.
At Hope Animal Hospital we practice what we preach. Dr. Linda Beisswenger anesthetized her own dog Jasmine when she was 15 years old and passed all her preoperative checkups with flying colors. There is no doubt her dental work helped her live a longer, happier life. Lea Canada had a liver surgery performed on her cat Kersha at 15 years of age.
Clients have had great success, too. Bo arrived when she was 15 years old with a mammary tumor. This is really old for a rabbit; about the equivalent of a 23 year old dog. Her people elected to have the tumor removed. Bo is now a comfortable and happy bunny spending time with her neutered bond-mate Harvey.
Seven year old Duchess was surrendered to the Missouri House Rabbit Society when her elderly owners could no longer care for her and would not enter an assisted living home until Duchess had a safe place to go. The problem was that Duchess was never spayed and it’s estimated that 80% of female rabbits have uterine cancer by age two. Bloodwork showed she should be fine with anesthesia and she did very well during surgery. Hopefully, she’ll now have many more years ahead of her..
For specifics on the procedures Hope Animal Hospital uses to give your pet the best care possible during surgery please see ‘Not All Surgery Is The Same’ and ‘"Your Pet Needs a Dental" What does that mean?’ available on this website. Despite the reassuring words we know that you may need more so we would like to show you some older pets that are enjoying a new lease on life.
Abbey Pratt had been growing a large tumor on her chest for years. When we at Hope Animal Hospital first saw her she had terrible skin disease. After improving those problems over time Abbey’s mom debated having the large tumor removed. The debate was what we all face: how much longer does Abbey have and how much is the tumor causing Abbey problems? Mom finally decided in December of 2008 to give Abbey the gift of not having to haul around a large tumor. Below is Abbey at 15 years of age recovering from surgery to remove the tumor. At suture removal she was well healed and enjoying life without the extra weight.