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Discussion Starter #1
Hi everyone:

My himalayan kitty, Pastina, is going to be spayed next week. I spoke to the vet (whom I trust, has been my mother's vet for years) about the drugs he will be using. He uses ketamine and xylazine - not isuflorine. Any thoughts?
He also mentioned he could use inhaled gas instead.

Thanks!
 

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Ketamine/xylazine combos are commonly used because it's cheap. My cats were all given this at the shelters' spay/neuter program, I wasn't allowed a choice. It is very hard on the cats' systems, and can have bad side effects, especially if it's an older cat. If your cat is young, it can probably handle it if there's NO health problems. Mine didn't have any problems, just the usual grogginess, unsteadiness, long recovery time.

For my kitties, I insist on isoflorane or sevoflorane for any procedures that need anesthesia. I would recommend getting that since the vet offered it. It's more expensive, but much better on the cat's system, and wears off fast with less side effects.
 

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Ketamine and xylazine are typically used for induction, then the cat is put on gas. It should *never* be one or the other.

Xylazine is dangerous in cats because it drops their blood pressure pretty significantly. I don't particularly like ketamine in cats. But neither of them is a complete anesthetic and neither is a complete pain-killer. If the cat is not on gas, she will be aware *and* able to feel the incision and surgery; ketamine simply paralyzes them so they can't react. It would be a horrendous nightmare.

Cancel your appointment. Find a vet who uses decent anesthesia--this protocol--but even more so the attitude--is unacceptable.

Cheers,
Dr. Jean
 

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drjean said:
Ketamine and xylazine are typically used for induction, then the cat is put on gas. It should *never* be one or the other.
Dr. Jean, I didn't get any info about the gas when I asked (and I was very new then), just that the K/X combo was used. Maybe they just assumed I would know since I asked? The shelters all did this on location, it was an on-site requirement, I had no choice of going to another vet.

I know you had extensive experience at humane societies, is the K/X then gas combo you described common practice at muni shelters too, I hope? It's done and over with now, but I would HATE to think that my furrkids underwent the paralysis-only thing. Gosh, the things you find out about all this time later. *Shiver*.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Dr. Jean:

The vet did say I could opt for intubation instead of the ketamine/xylazine combo.
what do you think?
 

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Intubation with gas anesthesia is safest; that way they have full control of the airway in case they need it. The two acceptable anesthetic gases are Isoflurane and Sevoflurane.

Usually, ketamine/valium or ketamine/xylazine are used to sedate them prior to intubating. If they can do it without, so much the better, but it's a little harder to get them down enough to tube with gas alone. (Although I did it all the time!)

I also like Domitor for pre-anesthesia sedation, because it's reversible if you get into trouble. A lot of vets use it for dogs but not cats, but since I refused to use ketamine, it was a good solution for us. (I use Domitor as the sole sedation when I shave my cats. I only need about 1/2 hour and that's just about right.) It also has good pain-relieving properties and that lasts a little while after surgery, which is a good thing. I don't think ketamine does nearly as well, but that's mostly personal opinion, and experience with the side effects of ketamine which I hate.

Cheers,
Dr. Jean
 

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Thank you Dr. Jean. I asked because in few weeks I will have to schedule my babies to be spayed. I want to know what questions to ask the vet.

Thank you!!!!
 

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I would make sure the gas is either Iso or Sevo for any surgery from spay to dental to hip replacement.

There are as many pre-anesthetic protocols as stars in the sky; I just mentioned a couple of the most common. Everyone has their favorites, and the regimen should always be tailored to the individual. For instance, cats over 10 are very limited in what pre-anesthetics are safe.

Always discuss your concerns with your vet, ask what protocols they use, how long they've used them, if they modify them based on individual factors such as age and history, etc.

Not to freak anyone out, but we just had a discussion on our holistic vet list about sudden death of pets in the clinic; it seemed like everyone had a story! While every vet does their best and uses what they believe are the safest protocols, anything can and will happen--on (fortunately) rare occasion. If you are in practice long enough, something will eventually go wrong. That's why doing medicine is called "practice." :wink:

Cheers,
Dr. Jean
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Just an update: I spoke to my vet who told me he will use sevoflurane, so that's good. It will cost me $80 extra but it's worth it. So I feel better now. She'll be spayed Thursday :cry:
 

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Thanks, Dr Jean, too. Sam and Ka are going to be spayed and neutered in a month or two so the type of anasthesia is important to know.

So far, their older sibs Buffy and Tux have been fine after being sterilised for over half a year - the clinic I go to charges $60 for males and $170 for females (which might mean they use Iso or Sevo since cah2 said it will cost her $80 more). Some other clinics charge $40 and $60.

I heard from some sad new cat-parents that there were complications when they took their kitty home from their sterilisation (some who adopted from the animal shelters with mandatory sterilisation in specific clinics). I hope the shelters will allow adopters to choose their own vet clinics instead.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
I agree - owners should have a choice of vets. Luckily, I trust my vet - although I am nervous!
 
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