Hypothermia found in over 83 percent of dogs following surgery with anesthesia

A study has found that an overwhelming majority of dogs present with hypothermia following surgeries or diagnostic tests that require anesthesia, according to ScienceDaily.

According to the study conducted by researchers at the CEU Cardenal Herrera University in Valencia, Spain, out of 1,525 dogs examined, 83.6 percent suffered from hypothermia after anesthesia. This result comes after a previous study from the same research team that determined 96.7 percent of cats present with hypothermia after procedures requiring anesthesia.

The prevalence of hypothermia in both cats and dogs is much higher than the 30 to 60 percent of humans who present with hypothermia after procedures requiring anesthetic, researchers said.

Researchers isolated two specific groups of dogs that are more susceptible to hypothermia: smaller dogs, and dogs that undergo thoracic surgery or diagnostic procedures necessetating prolonged anesthetic.

The researchers listed three factors that appeared to directly contribute to the onset of hypothermia in the anesthetized dogs:

  • Duration of pre-anesthesia and anesthesia.
  • Physical condition of the animal.
  • Animal's posture during surgery. According to the study, sternal and dorsal recumbencies produced lower body temperatures than lateral recumbency.

The prior study involving cats indicated that their risk of hypothermia was greater in abdominal and orthopedic procedures, researchers said.

After analyzing the study data, researchers recommended that veterinarians take extra precautions to prevent hypothermia in animals before administering anesthesia, especially in the dogs they identified as most vulnerable.

"Therefore, the Valencian researchers believe that temperature should be continuously monitored and vets should take preventive measures to avoid heat loss during procedures," the researchers said.

Read the entire study (paid only)

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