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Anesthesia in an English Bulldog

Jennifer E. Carter, DVM, DACVAA, CVPP, University of Melbourne

Anesthesiology & Pain Management

|October 2017|Peer Reviewed

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Hugo, a 7-year-old neutered male English bulldog, is presented for dental cleaning with possible extraction because of a suspected mandibular tooth root abscess. Hugo had been eating and drinking normally until 5 days ago, when his owner noticed he was less interested in his food and was drooling excessively. 

At one year of age, Hugo was neutered and underwent soft palate resection, sacculectomy, and alarplasty of the nares. He has a 7-year history of snoring. He is up-to-date on core vaccinations. His 80-year-old owner does not leash walk him, and Hugo has access to a fenced yard for short times only for urination and defecation.

On physical examination, BCS is 7/9. Hugo is panting loudly and is excited but friendly. Although his excitement makes auscultation of the heart and lungs difficult, no obvious murmurs are evident. No other abnormalities are noted. Preoperative CBC results demonstrate a moderate neutrophilia (14.5 × 103/uL [14.5 x 109/L]; range, 3-12 × 103/uL [3-12 x 109/L]) with no left shift. Serum chemistry profile results are unremarkable.


Option 1

Perform dental treatment using balanced anesthesia and analgesia with drugs and techniques tailored to Hugo and the procedure.

Table 1

Drugs & Techniques Tailored to Hugo

Purpose Drug/Technique

Methadone (0.3 mg/kg IM)

Acepromazine (0.02 mg/kg IM)

Oxygen via facemask for 3 minutes before induction

Induction Propofol (IV to effect)
Maintenance Isoflurane

Local anesthetic dental blocks as needed

Dexamethasone sodium phosphate (0.15 mg/kg IV)

Postoperative Buprenorphine (0.03 mg/kg IV)

Option 2

Perform dental treatment using balanced anesthesia and analgesia according to the practice’s standard operating procedure, in an effort to reduce risk for error by using familiar drugs and protocols.

Table 2

Practice's Standard Operating Procedure

Purpose Drug/Technique

Dexmedetomidine (0.008 mg/kg IM)

Hydromorphone (0.1 mg/kg IM)


Propofol (IV to effect)

Maintenance Isoflurane
Operative Local anesthetic dental blocks as needed
Postoperative Carprofen (4.4 mg/kg SC)

References and Author Information

For global readers, a calculator to convert laboratory values, dosages, and other measurements to SI units can be found here.

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