A patient in severe respiratory distress is at risk of death as a consequence of minimal diagnostic or therapeutic interventions, but is also at risk if you do nothing; it would be well to advise your client of this at your initial contact!
General anesthesia is achieved by administering drugs that suppress your dog’s nerve response.
During general anesthesia, your dog is in an unconscious state, so she is unable to move and doesn’t feel any pain.
For drugs commonly used in various species for tranquilization, sedation, or analgesia, see Table: Dosage of Tranquilizers and Sedatives without Analgesic Effects and see Table: Dosage of Analgesics.
Drugs that have some of these effects but are used mainly for other properties (eg, as antispasmodics, antiemetics, or preanesthetics) are not listed.
Many veterinarians are apprehensive about sedating an animal with a potential heart problem, particularly one that is dyspneic.
There is wisdom in this viewpoint and, let's face it, you may not know on the spot whether dyspnea is due to cardiac disease or a primary respiratory condition.In fact, it is estimated that approximately 1 in 100,000 animals will have some sort of reaction to an anesthetic agent.Reactions can range from mild to severe and include a wide variety of symptoms, such as swelling at the injection site to more serious outcomes such as anaphylactic shock or death.My concoction of choice for sedating cardiac patients, both dogs and cats, is diazepam (Valium) and butorphanol, 0.2 mg/kg of each, mixed for an IV injection (stings if given out of the vein).This mixture will precipitate briefly, then clear after rocking the syringe back and forth a couple of times.Tranquilization reduces anxiety and induces a sense of tranquility without drowsiness.