Thread Tools Display Modes
Old 10-23-2013, 09:23 AM
dauerbach dauerbach is offline
Join Date: Dec 2002
Posts: 2,327
Local anesthesia for dog

My 12 year old lab has had a tumor on her nose for about a year. It has lately gotten larger. The vet thinks it is benign, likely a histiocytoma. I would love to have it removed but am hesitant about general anesthesia in this elderly dog with laryngeal paralysis. It seems as though intubation might not be the best thing for her. My vet will only do it under general. Before I start calling other vets I would like to know if removing local anesthesia for excision of a skin tumor is ever done.
Old 10-23-2013, 09:38 AM
dolphinboy dolphinboy is online now
Join Date: Jan 2001
Location: Bigfork, Montana
Posts: 4,145
I have never heard of it (although that doesn't mean it's never been done).

Unless the dog is willing to hold perfectly still for a few minutes it's hard for a vet to do what needs to be done. Most dogs will flinch and resist when someone comes at them with a scalpel. Although it doesn't hurt to ask around...
Old 10-23-2013, 09:53 AM
kayaker kayaker is offline
Join Date: Jul 2009
Location: Western Pennsylvania
Posts: 26,594
One of our dogs has had a few minor wounds sutured with local anesthesia, however she is extremely obedient and would have allowed the work to be done without the local if it were necessary.
Old 10-23-2013, 10:21 AM
Sudden Kestrel Sudden Kestrel is offline
Join Date: Jul 2011
Location: Upper Midwest, USA
Posts: 2,138
See if your vet or another will agree to do it under sedation and local anesthesia. My vet will do this for old dogs in need of dental work. Sedation is safer for them but still keeps them still enough for the procedure.
Old 10-23-2013, 10:21 AM
dauerbach dauerbach is offline
Join Date: Dec 2002
Posts: 2,327
Yeah, so intuitively it does not seem possible. However, clever people have thought of solutions to problems that I thought had none. I just hate to put her under the risk of general if there any chance it can be done without.

I would even be OK with a light general without intubation, but even if a dog mask exists, I cannot see how it can be used to remove a tumor on the nose.
Old 10-23-2013, 10:24 AM
kayaker kayaker is offline
Join Date: Jul 2009
Location: Western Pennsylvania
Posts: 26,594
There are also many different types of anesthesia, including reversible narcotics. A relative's dog had a c-section under a reversible narcotic and the dog and puppies went home an hour after the procedure, wide awake. It was expensive, however.
Old 10-23-2013, 04:52 PM
MsBatt MsBatt is offline
Join Date: Mar 2003
Posts: 139
I guess this would be an example of a reversible narcotic, although the vet didn't tell me that. I had a pit bull who needed a small tumor removed on his foot. The vet gave him an injection, and Max was limp as a dishrag within two minutes. Vet did the necessary, gave Max a second injection, and Max was awake but groggy within about two minutes. He was sluggish the rest of the day, but that was all.
Old 10-23-2013, 06:09 PM
kayaker kayaker is offline
Join Date: Jul 2009
Location: Western Pennsylvania
Posts: 26,594
Max is a good boy!
Old 10-23-2013, 07:22 PM
SeaDragonTattoo SeaDragonTattoo is offline
Join Date: Sep 2007
Location: Chicago, Far Northsider
Posts: 7,811
Until a veterinarian cares to ring in, and without knowing where the tumor is or what it looks like, I'll give you my two cents as a tech.

What people are mentioning above that can be reversed is drug called Dexdomitor. It's good, but carries risks, too. One problem with it is that the patient doesn't always stay completely still while on it. They twitch. Especially when working on their heads and feet. That's not good when going at a dog's nose with a scalpel. It's really not ideal, as the twitching cannot be anticipated and the patient cannot be held completely still. I'm thinking it would be very difficult to use, especially if we're talking sensitive nose leather.

A general anesthetic powerful enough to render the dog completely still would be propofol. A propofol CRI (constant rate infusion) comes with its own risks, as well, and when using it, it's often with an endotracheal tube and gas anesthesia machine prepped and ready to use if the patient's breathing becomes compromised. I've seen many patients do just fine and not need to be tubed, but it happens sometimes.

Both of the above are for procedures that would take 15 minutes or less to complete. So if your vet is thinking it might take longer to get good margins, get deep enough, possibly have to do some reconstruction if this tumor is in the nose leather and he has to remove part of a nostril, and suture/bandage safely, then that's why he really wants to go with general gas anesthesia, so he doesn't have to try to hurry and then have to re-do the procedure when it grows back, or completely maim her cosmetically because he didn't have time to be careful.


Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is Off
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump

All times are GMT -5. The time now is 06:23 PM.

Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.7
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.

Send questions for Cecil Adams to:

Send comments about this website to:

Terms of Use / Privacy Policy

Advertise on the Straight Dope!
(Your direct line to thousands of the smartest, hippest people on the planet, plus a few total dipsticks.)

Publishers - interested in subscribing to the Straight Dope?
Write to:

Copyright 2017 Sun-Times Media, LLC.

Copyright © 2017