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News Article

High prevalence of hypothermia in dogs after anaesthesia

Hypothermia is the most common anaesthetic complication in dogs and cats.

A research team from the Universidad CEU Cardenal Herrera, directed by Professor José Ignacio Redondo, documented the prevalence of hypothermia in dogs after surgery and after diagnostic tests that require anaesthetic. They found that 83.6% of the dogs studied presented this complication, whereas in humans this percentage is between 30 and 60% of cases. The findings are reported in Veterinary Record1.

To reduce the prevalence of hypothermia in dogs, the researchers note that it is necessary to prevent heat loss in these animals before starting veterinary procedures. Such prevention is particularly important in the case of dogs showing higher percentages of hypothermia - smaller dogs and those undergoing thoracic surgery or diagnostic procedures requiring prolonged anaesthetic.

The researchers analysed 1525 cases of anesthetized animals in the University Clinical Hospitals of the CEU Cardenal Herrera and Cordoba. The variables directly related to hypothermia in dogs registered at the end of an operation include the duration of the pre-anaesthesia and anaesthesia, the physical condition of the animal and, also, their posture during surgery (sternal and dorsal recumbencies showed lower temperatures than lateral recumbency).

In a previous study2, the same research team determined that this prevalence rate is even higher in the case of cats. In this case, the study showed that abdominal and orthopaedic interventions generate a greater decrease in cat’s body temperature.

  1. Retrospective study of the prevalence of postanaesthetic hypothermia in dogs, JI Redondo, P Suesta, I Serra, C Soler, G Soler, L Gil and RJ Gómez-Villamandos. Veterinary Record (2012), vol. 171, no.15, pp. 374 doi: 10.1136/vr.100476
  2. Retrospective study of the prevalence of postanaesthetic hypothermia in cats, JI Redondo, P. Suesta, L Gil, G Soler, I Serra and C Soller. Veterinary Record (2012), vol. 170, no. 8, pp. 206 doi 10.1136/vr.100184

Article details

  • Date
  • 30 May 2013
  • Source
  • Asociación RUVID via AlphaGalileo
  • Subject(s)
  • Dogs, Cats, and other Companion Animals