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Recovery from Sedation & Use of Morphine

September 29th, 2006, 11:08 AM
How safe is it to inject morphine when a dog has been sedated? Should there be recovery time after sedation before morphine is given, and if so, how long? What precautions/warnings should there be in the use of morphine? Our 8 y.o. dog injured her shoulder and to do an ultrasound and extend the legs, the orthopedic veterinarian says sedation required.

Are there any concerns about drug interaction between sedatives and morphine?

Our regular vet does not use opiates or other 'controlled substances'.

September 29th, 2006, 03:04 PM
Who is giving the morphine?

September 29th, 2006, 04:15 PM
the veterinarian injects the morphine. I do not believe any 'civilians' would ever have access to morphine, as it is heavilty regulated as a controlled substance.

Angies Man
September 29th, 2006, 05:32 PM
I suspect you wouldn't be asking the question if you didn't already have some idea of the answer.

I would guess that it depends on the sedative that's being used with the morphine. If the sedative is a narcotic in the same family as the morphine, then probably.

But if I had any question about interactions, I guess I'd bring it up with the Vet. Most doctors (physicians, too!) are willing to answer questions about medications--and probably your orthopaedic vet is very knowledgeable about the sedative and pain reliever he uses.

September 29th, 2006, 05:50 PM
Thanks for yr reply. Unfortunately, the vet was not that familiar. He injected the dose of morphine right after he injected the ascidan to bring her out of sedation.

She fell over and couldn't walk, so they carried her to our car. She had trouble breathing, so we took to to the ER after he had closed for the day. She was not breathing when we arrived, and the ER vet questioned us thoroughly about what was done for her that day. Unfortunately, the orthopedic vet had not asked if it was ok to inject her, and also did not tell us he had given the morphine injection.

The ER vet did what she could, but could not revive our precious Tazi, she died from pulmonary edema and failed heart.

We are absolutely devastated. She was healthy, 8 years old, just had trouble with her shoulder.

The suspicion is that she was not allowed proper recovery from the sedative, and the morphine was too much.

What is difficult to understand is why zero notification of the use of morphine. The ER vet said she had a drug she could have administered if she had known morphine was injected.

September 29th, 2006, 09:41 PM
I'm so sorry!

I don't know about in dogs, but I know morphine in humans for prolonged periods affects the respiratory system.

I just don't understand why she needed two sedatives.:confused:

Angies Man
September 30th, 2006, 03:02 PM
Wow, that's awful! I lost a dog 3 1/2 years ago to bloat, so I think I can speak with some understanding of your profound shock and grief. It's always bad losing a dog, but losing a healthy dog so suddenly is unbelieveably awful.

I'm truly sorry.

I don't know what good it does, and I think you'll never know what took your dog, but it sounds to me like the vet was really negligent. It may be that your dog had a bad reaction to the mophine itself, I don't know. Here's the url for the vet medical board in California--maybe they can help you understand what happened, and if you choose to, take your complaint against the vet.

September 30th, 2006, 07:34 PM
I am very sorry for your loss. :grouphug:

I just don't understand why she needed two sedatives.

Vets use a combo of drugs to anesthesize and opiates are very commonly used as part of the combo, many have their own favorites they like to use, or they use a different combo if they are working on an older dog with known health problems or they use a different combo depending on the length of the procedure as some drugs are reversible which means a faster wake up time

There 2 to 3 steps in anesthesia a premed, an induction agent and the intubating with a gas, very much the same is done in human medicine

These 2 articles here written for greyhound owners, because greyhound as are very sensitive to the use barbituates. My regular vet uses acepromazine/atropine premed followed by ketamine/Valium induction
and isoflurane gas on the majority of dogs he treats, my greyhounds include and when Whinnie gets neutered the same will likely be used on him, my vet has never worked on a chinese cresteds before, and I would not be surprised if he checks with the vet college first to see if any of the drugs may be a problem with the breed, I know he did the same when he needed to prescribed pain meds for Callie, wanting to be sure he is giving the safest possible. I too have did my research to see if their was any known drug sensitivities in the breed

But these articles explain the procedure and why, and a drug sensitivity can occur in any individual dog. THe vet could have used the same procedure thousand times over and not had a bad prior reaction, how many of us reach for a box of neocitron when we have a cold and thing nothing about side effects from it, if my son drinks a cup of neocitron, the next day he will be throwing up large amounts of blood, he will spend several days in the hospital with a tube down him throat into his stomach suctioning off acids for his stomach to heal and fed intravenously until it is and will be on anti acids for months afterward.

October 2nd, 2006, 10:12 AM
Thank you all, for your kind words and responses.

Aside from our sadness and disbelief at what happened, we are concerned for others about the use of morphine injections without permission, notification, or issuing any type of warnings, what to look for in the way of side effects, etc.

We all know we would not go to an M.D. complaining of bursitis, and have him slip us an injection of morphine when we aren't looking, but where is the line of responsibility presently with Veterinarians, e.g., can it be considered normal practice to inject morphine without saying ANYTHING?

This is one of several questions we seek opinions on.

Thank you.

October 2nd, 2006, 12:01 PM
I expect vets see morphine as just another tool, and unfortunately sometimes it is misused. In your case, it strikes me that it is more a question of communication. Doesn't a dog have a chart when he goes in for an op? If you think it was incompetence, you should definitely complain.
Wow, your poor heads must've been just spinning.