Unlike other anaesthetics, Propofol is not clearly understood and medics are sometimes unsure how it works. That said, it works effectively as both a sedative and an anaesthetic. Yet vets are generally clear about Propofol side effects in dogs.
It has been tested and used as an anaesthetic in animals including dogs since the 1970s. But it has become particularly popular in the last ten to fifteen years. This is because it is easy to administer, acts quickly, is metabolised quickly and so also wears off quickly.
Although the drug is considered to be perfectly safe for dogs, it has been known to cause some side effects too. When a dog is given Propofol, it takes effect within thirty to sixty seconds. Depending on the dosage, the effect will either be a mild sedation or total unconsciousness. The effects of Propofol usually last about twenty minutes.
First, it is important to note that total unconsciousness is not one of Propofol’s side effects in dogs and for this reason, it is often mixed with other drugs. It is often used in conjunction with tranquilizers, barbiturates, opioids and inhalant anaesthetics.
Even in dogs, Propofol must be administered intravenously because of its fast acting properties. If taken orally it will not work as an anaesthetic. It has also been known to temporarily increase a dog’s appetite while also reducing the impulse to vomit. But unlike other anaesthetics, Propofol does not have any pain relieving properties.
In people, Propofol is known to slower heart rate, to cause shallow breathing and to lower blood pressure. In fact, the same is true for dogs. For this reason, it is important for the vet to monitor the dog carefully after the dog has been given a dosage of Propofol. If the dog has an allergy to Propofol or suffers from hypersensitivity, then it will be dangerous to give the dog Propofol and any quantity of it could lead to death. Also dogs that are in shock, or have suffered extreme stress or are the victim of a trauma should also not be given Propofol.
An important element of Propofol side effects in dogs is that is has been known to cure seizures, whilst in other dogs it has been known to cause seizures. It is important to go to a vet who known the medical history of your dog, so that the vet will be able to accurately assess the likelihood of such an outcome. This is also important with regard to other medications that the dog may be taking. For example if the dog is on acepromazine, atropine, cimetidine or narcotics, it is not advisable to give the dog Propofol. The types of procedures that Propofol can be used in examinations of ear and mouth flushes, diagnostic ultrasonography, transtracheal aspirationremoval of tumors, abscess drainage, castration, ovariohysterectomy procudures, biopsies and small laceration suturing.
These operations or procedures are relatively short or quick, which makes Propofol a good choice. For longer procedures, Propofol is mixed with other drugs to ensure the dog is sedated and unconscious for a longer period of time. As mentioned, Propofol can affect the dog’s breathing and heart rate. For this reason, the vet will monitor both the dog’s breathing and heart rate whilst sedated.
With proper supervision, Propofol side effects in dogs are limited and there is no reason why the dog should not make a full recovery once the procedure is completed. It is normal to expect the dog to be up and about again as normal within an hour of the procedure.
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