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terrecar

Heart Block During Anesthesia

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Does anyone here have a dog that experienced an atrioventricular block (second degree in this case) while under anesthesia? Ive elected to have an echocardiogram scheduled for Hannah because of this, but both my veterinary dentist and my regular vet think it is likely just a reaction to the anesthesia. That would be more comforting if the occurrence were a one-off, but it happened more than once. Im wondering if anyone has experience with this and, if so, did an echocardiogram show any abnormalities?

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Terrecar I had several cardiac tests run before I got fitted w/a tiny heart monitor. All of them, including 2 echos, & 2 ekg, done several months apart, showed nothing. The heart monitor did capture a heart block about 3 months after implant.

 

What the cardiac electro-physiologist told me is that this is fairly common, for a heart-stoppage to occur for no obvious reason and with no damage done.

 

If it were my dog, I'd be inclined to have the echo. It's not invasive at all, I'd think they might want to give her a mild sedative just to keep her calm.

 

And if there's something there that the echo could pick up, then you'd know.

 

I hope this is helpful.

 

Ruth & Gibbs

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I am having the echo done for my own peace of mind. My vet gave it as an option, though he also said Hannah’s heart sounds strong with no murmur. But that doesn’t mean there is no underlying problem. She is due for a vaccination on Jan 5 anyway, so we are combining the visit.The information shared from your electro-cardiologist is very good to know. Thank you, Ruth.

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Glad it's helpful. Also you might want to know that I got a pacemaker implanted last March. I've not had any heart stoppage in the almost 9 months since then, I'm automatically monitored for it.

 

I don't assume that dog heart conditions & human ones are identical, but thought you might find my experiences interesting.

 

Ruth

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Ever one to get ahead of myself, I asked my vet what we could do if the echo does reveal a problem. He actually mentioned a pacemaker, though he assured me Hannah’s heart is probably fine. So yes, your experiences are interesting!

 

I’m continually amazed at how far veterinary science has progressed over the years..

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Ruth,

 

I would be happy to share the results, though there will likely be a delay if it's bad news. The appt. is not until Jan 5th. Apparently there is a 'new' (or maybe only for my vet??) CIV vaccine that protects against an additional strain of flu, so my vet (who owns the boarding kennel I use) requires a booster for the new vaccine. I made the appt. for the booster and the echo to be done at the same time; three weeks from the first inoculation.

 

Karen

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Ruth,

 

I would be happy to share the results, though there will likely be a delay if it's bad news. The appt. is not until Jan 5th. Apparently there is a 'new' (or maybe only for my vet??) CIV vaccine that protects against an additional strain of flu, so my vet (who owns the boarding kennel I use) requires a booster for the new vaccine. I made the appt. for the booster and the echo to be done at the same time; three weeks from the first inoculation.

 

Karen

Yes, the new vaccine is bivalent (protection for 2 types of canine flu). I think it came out this year. (Oops, I mean 2017.)

 

I did not have my dogs vaccinated for the previous canine flu outbreak (maybe 5-6 years ago), but I did vaccinate with the bivalent last summer for several reasons:

The outbreaks were much closer to my area - within 100-200 miles, and with dogs traveling to agility trials, it can spread easily

the vaccine protected against 2 virus strains (2 for the price of 1 :) )

and most importantly, the previous flu outbreak could be serious for the older and/or immunocompromised dogs, whereas the newest strain of CIV could be quite devastating in healthy dogs that were not in their senior years.

 

I had read many stories of dogs at trials who were infected with CIV, then passed it on to their multi-dog household. (In one case, 9 dogs in the house and every dog suffered.) And a personal friend with a 4 dog household, had the same experience. I had already had my dogs vaccinated several months previous to her experience. We somehow got on the topic of kennel cough/CIV a month or so before her outbreak, and I told her I had vaccinated, and she pooh-poohed the idea of vaccination for CIV. I am not saying everyone should vaccinate, but I just looked at my dogs' risk factors and felt better about vaccinating at this time.

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Thanks, Jovi. It makes sense that my veterinarian would keep up on new strains. When I questioned the tech, I wanted to make sure we weren't boosting the vaccine because someone missed that Hannah had already been vaccinated in prior years (and kept current).

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Well, I picked up Hannah Friday after her echocardiogram, but I don’t get the results until Monday. So, there’s that little bit of suspense...

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Hannah's echocardiogram did not show any "arrhythmias or conduction disorders". There were some tall p-waves, so "atrial enlargement cannot be totally excluded". However, the fact that Hannah responded to atropine leads the cardiologist to think the blocks were due to the opioid used for anesthesia. This is apparently not all that uncommon. I can have x-rays done to rule out an enlargement.

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Thanks for letting us know, Terrecar. I know it's not totally definitive, but you have more info than you had before.

 

Hope all continues to be well.

 

Ruth & Gibbs

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I am glad I had it done. I have a report on this condition in her records now; one that is more than just a notation on the record of an unrelated procedure. It is important information for when she has to go under anesthesia.

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