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Anaesthetic - When is my pet too old?

C  fakepath shih tzu

Q: My Shih Tzu dog is 9 years old and has a lump on her side. My vet recommends removing it but I am wondering if she is too old for an anaesthetic?

 

A: You are never 'too old' for an anaesthetic. Certainly with age there is an increased risk, however if you have a healthy older dog the risk is minimal. A good plan is to get a pre-anaesthetic blood test to make sure her liver and kidneys will be able to process the anaesthetic normally, and also to look for early indicators to diseases like diabetes.  

Dogs and cats are living to great ages now. Your dog may have another 6 - 7 years of healthy life ahead of her, so it would be advisable to get the lump removed now while it is small.

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