Slow Heart Rate during Anesthesia

Preventable with Medications, a Diagnosis is still Essential


I have a 15 year old terrier cross. She is very healthy, however the last time I had her teeth cleaned, they said her heart beat too slowly from the anesthesia and they had to wake her up and that her teeth could no longer be cleaned.  She has a black growth on her leg. In the last six months it has increased to the size of a pecan.  Is this something that needs attention?


Dr. Nichol:

Regardless of anesthetic concerns your dog may have a cardiac problem as well as a malignancy. Chest x-rays, an electrocardiogram, an ultrasonic blood pressure measurement, plus an aspirate of that mass are all in order. If your terrier’s heart turns out fine, atropine or glycopyrrolate can be given prior to future anesthesia to stabilize her heart rate.


If the pathologist reports that surgery of that skin mass is indicated it should be possible to custom-fit an anesthetic plan for your dog’s heart or use a sedative plus a local. The tumor, if it hasn’t metastasized, could be removed and her teeth cleaned at the same time. Your dog needs a diagnosis. Modern medicine will be on her side of you act in time.