January 5th, 2004, 02:23 PM
I'm the owner of an eight year old shih tzu named Toby whom I love with all my heart, he's been a constant source of joy, pride and admiration since I got him as a puppy. Tomorrow he will undergo surgery to fix nagging dental problems and remove a growth on his leg. While the growth is most probably not malignant, I am very fearful of the general anesthetic which will be required during the surgery. For the past 3 days I've been a nervous wreck, unable to shake the thought that something may go horribly wrong during the surgery.. and it's hard for me to look at my playful, happy companion without thinking that I may be betraying him- even if I know it's for his own good.
I'm asking that if any of you have tales of successes with shih tzus and anesthetic proceedures, cautionary tales on things to be careful of or information that would help me through this uncertainty that you please post it.
January 5th, 2004, 03:13 PM
Oh friend you have to remain calm.
Your dog will sense your nervousness and know something is wrong, it will not be good for your puppy!
My dog was 12 years old (Westie) who needed surgery to repair a torn cruciate ligament in his leg. He had bronchitis, asthma, a collapsing trachea and a heart mur mur!
HE DID FINE!!
WHile he was under they removed some small growths that most senior dogs end up getting. He had one funny wart on his head that looked like an alien life form hahaha! THey cleaned his teeth and he was no worse for wear.
HE DID FINE and lived to be 16.
Do NOT worry about your dog. Your Vet would not put your dog under anaest if there was any high risk.
REMEMBER NO FOOD OR DRINK the night before thats crucial!!!
Follow vets instructions and come back and let us know it was successful!
Rusty loved to find unique spots to sleep. Does your dog do that too? Here he is in my guitar case :D
January 5th, 2004, 03:48 PM
For older, tiny or ill animals, the anesthetic used is generally Isoflurane. This is exceedingly safe, as it does not permeate all the organs like Halothane does.
Ask what type anesthetic will be used on your little doggie. I'm sure he'll be just fine!
Think of how much better he'll feel with his dental problems cured.:)
And Luba is right: try to calm down, as your dog will pick up on your agitation and become upset himself.
January 6th, 2004, 02:31 PM
Just wanted to check back and let you guys know that Toby came out of surgery successfully today at around 12:30 and is doing fine. Even better - the doctor said that the lump was a cyst and is absolutely benign. I couldn't have asked for better news, and I can't wait to go pick him up at 6.
I have to thank all of you for your thoughts and experiences, they helped A LOT. A few times last night when I was having trouble sleeping I logged on a re-read your messages of encouragement and confidence and they certainly eased my mind. I can't thank you enough.
January 6th, 2004, 03:15 PM
Glad to hear it:D see u worried for no reason!!
Trust us on here, we wouldn't steer u wrong :D
January 6th, 2004, 09:31 PM
look at da Rusty!
Luba, he's gaaaaaaawgeous!
January 6th, 2004, 10:39 PM
Thanks sweetie :)
January 6th, 2004, 11:19 PM
I'm so glad things went well with your lillte guy.:)
OMG Luba...I love that pic.What a sweetie.
January 7th, 2004, 12:29 AM
I'm sure Rusty is gloating in the afterlife at all this lovely attention and compliments!
:D Thanks guys!!!!
February 15th, 2004, 08:09 AM
Hi again, guys.
I wanted to bump this post as opposed to creating a new one because I thought it may illustrate the history of the dog's condition better. Ever since the last removal I've been monitoring a few additional bumps on his skin because the doctor told us to wait for any increase in size before contacting him. The first problem was a second bump in the vicinity of the one that was removed, which has not grown and seems to be, in fact, dissapearing. The second, however, is placed near the tail and has appeared to get larger in recent days. At the moment it's about the width of a large cookie chip but is noticable when petting him. I'm probably going to contact the vet today and arrange an appointment to have this looked at, and unfortunately it will probably lead to another proceedure. I'm-of course- dreading this one too, since the other one made me a literal nervous wreck, but I think it's important to always put the health of your pet before your emtions or fears, so I have to just suck it up and do my best to look out for him. To anyone who knows much about this, I was hoping to get a little imput. Is it odd for there to be such proliferation of lumps over such a short period of time ? Prior to the initial surgery we hadn't seen any such things over about 7 years, and now I've noticed three in the past three months. I know these increase as a dog gets older, but I hope it doesn't continue at this rate since my doctor does not believe in needle biopsies, and I don't want to let tumors go unattended. I feel that if I need to take him in there 4 times a year for surgery that I'm, hard as it is to say, just pushing his luck. Also, since this tumor is in the area near his tail.. I'm hoping that perhaps only local anesthesia will be required, if anyone can fill me in on your experiences with this I would be greateful.
Again, he's doesn't show signs of being sick. He's playful as always, eating healthily, drinking normally, and very happy. So I just hope this turns out to be okay. Sorry for the long story, but you guys were so helpful and encouraging with the last problem and my worries stemming from it, that I felt I needed to consult you again since I'm kinda bummed about the prospect of having him face another potential surgery. Also, I included a little picture of him shortly after his surgery (you can still see his little green bandage on his right leg) I thought you guys might like. Like I said, any words of information or encouragement would be really appreciated, and thanks for reading this.
February 15th, 2004, 10:21 AM
I am curious as to why your vet doesn't believe in needle biopsies? It seems kind of silly to me that one would put a dog under to check out every lump. Especially since fatty tumors are common in some breeds of dogs as they get older.
Seems like the vet bills could get a bit expensive. While I would be relieve to find out the dog was ok, I think I might get a little upset to pay a couple of hundred dollars for a surgery, not to mention the stress on me and the dog because of the anesthetic, when a $35 needle aspiration would have shown the same thing.
February 15th, 2004, 11:13 AM
Agree with LavenderRott. Putting the dog under general anesthetic repeatedly for benign lumps seems like overkill to me!
Perhaps you should see another vet?
February 15th, 2004, 11:48 AM
I agree.. and the stress is a much larger problem than the actual cost. But the doctor has been VERY reliable throughout the past 25 years or so, he basically saved the life of my last dog who was on his deathbed after contracting a disease from the pet store. He's very frank, and sometimes overly cautious but he's always been beyond compare in terms of succeeding where others could not. His story for not doing the biopsy is that a school of thought dictates that a needle biopsy can spread cancer in the case the tumor is malignant. I read about this on a few sites which say that, while this theory is totally unproven, it is something that certain doctors consider when dealing with tumors or skin problems. Like I said, I agree and would prefer if it could be done in a biopsy because of how much less stress it would be for the dog and myself, but I've always been very happy with this doctor and I'm inclined to trust his judgment more often than not. I know that these tumors are very common in shih tzus, especially after 6 - so it may get too stressful or costly to continue to do it this way, but I always want the relationship with this vet to be healthy because in the case Toby needs a major surgery I wouldn't want anyone else doing it. Like I said, I'm really hoping for a local anesthesia on this, since that's my main concern.
February 15th, 2004, 12:32 PM
I can't see local anesthetic being used for surgery on animals, as they would not obey the intructions to "Hold still" as we do.
They would need to be held immobile, and the stress of this would be incredible.
I personally have never heard of locals being used on any small animal. Has anyone??
February 15th, 2004, 01:59 PM
I don't know how different humans from animals...
but we're still actively practicing needle aspirations prior to any surgeries!!
I'd highly recommand the needle aspiration... don't have dog experience, myself, on this matter.
but while awaiting surgery, I was greatful of the aspirations... I wouldn't have survived happily with a lump on my neck for 2 months!
February 15th, 2004, 07:13 PM
I don't know how a local anesthetic would work exactly. I have been to groomers that have used some sort of a system to restrain the dog comfortably while they cut their hair, I thought that something on the back of the dog may be able to be removed with local anesthesia if they used the same sort of device. The last time I had this proceedure it was on one of his front paws, so it would have been pretty impossible to operate on without general anesthesia. I was just hoping against hope that general anesthesia would not have to be administered since I'm very worried about that aspect of the surgery. I know that the techniques for anesthesia in animals has improved and all, but it's still a scary prospect for me.
February 15th, 2004, 07:57 PM
I've had warts and such removed from my dog under local.
It depends on the dogs disposition.
At times they can give them mild sedatives beforehand so they're slightly groggy.
Have you considered the possibility of just getting a second opinion from another vet?
February 15th, 2004, 08:52 PM
like the kind Honey & Chocolate have on their faces??
February 15th, 2004, 09:50 PM
LMAOOO they don't have wards lol
February 15th, 2004, 10:25 PM
what r those things called then?
February 16th, 2004, 09:51 AM
When Motzi had her tumors they didn't even freeze them. She had one shaped and sife of a banana on the rib wall and another on the foot sife of a large pea. She stuck the needle in and got the fluid thaT was it. Maybe you can talk to the vet about doing it that way?
But Good luck with your little buddy :)