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Ketamine

post #1 of 20
Thread Starter 
So everyone here keeps saying ketamine is bad, bad, bad. But is it?

I asked my vet which anesthetics are used for dentals and she said they induce with ketamine/valium and maintain with isoflurane. She says ketamine gets a bad rap, but it is pretty safe. She said they won't do the gas by itself because (I think) it is too difficult and stressful. My vet is caring and knowledgeable. Who am I to think I know better than someone who studied for years in vet school?

But if it really is that bad...please point me to some reliable evidence of that. A book would be preferable to a website, but any good hard evidence is welcome.
Thank you.
post #2 of 20
It killed a few of my friends cats during a dental.
In fact I have it on file with my vet never to use that and they have no problem with not using it.
Read my friends story.
http://gimmiesfishes.blogspot.com/
On the right side is info on how unsafe ketamine is.


post #3 of 20
My vet does not use ketamine. My vet also does not use pre-anesthetic sedatives of any kind because she uses sevoflurane, also a gas, but faster acting than isoflurane, so the pre-drugs are not needed.

The one drawback I suppose is sevoflurane doesn't offer the same level of pain control afterward a deeper anesthetic may. But hey, that's what buprenex is for, that is if pain control is needed. A routine dental with no extractions would not require pain meds.
post #4 of 20
My Dentist/Vet clinic doesn't use Ketamine on cats - they say it is simply not safe enough, and there are better options. They do use it for dogs.
Due to the heart failure risks and kidney and liver potential side effects, I just rather not use it at all.
post #5 of 20
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by mews2much View Post
It killed a few of my friends cats during a dental.
In fact I have it on file with my vet never to use that and they have no problem with not using it.
Read my friends story.
http://gimmiesfishes.blogspot.com/
On the right side is info on how unsafe ketamine is.


I'm sorry to hear about your friends' cats.
Thank you very much for the link...the articles are helpful. Although, they seem to indicate that ketamine is mostly a problem for Sphynx (and my cats are not sphynx).
post #6 of 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by MissKalamata View Post
I'm sorry to hear about your friends' cats.
Thank you very much for the link...the articles are helpful. Although, they seem to indicate that ketamine is mostly a problem for Sphynx (and my cats are not sphynx).
I am confused by your statement and wondering you you read the same articles that I read from that site? Such as this one?
http://www.gimmiesfishes.org/docs/ke...ichardsDVM.pdf

It does not say it is a problem mostly to Sphynxs. It says that it causes hypertension in cats during anesthesia recovery and it is dangerous for cats that have undiagnosed cardiomyopathy. It lists the breeds that have a higher risk of having HCM, Sphynx being one of them.
It also says in there: There is an increased risk when the cats are intubated; which is usually the case in a dental, and of course non-breed specific.
Furthermore the risk of pulmonary endema - not breed specific either.

In cats with cardiomyopathy, these things will likely kill on the spot. Sphynx, though have a greater risk of HCM, are not the only cats who have it....
Even if your cat doesn't have HCM, it can get hurt pretty bad; just not as bad as one who does.
Pretty devastating way to find out...
post #7 of 20
I have sphynx but I know of many non sphynx that died from it also.
My non sphynx do not get ketamine either for surgery because it is not worth the risk to me.

post #8 of 20
Kay said I can send you her email addy if you want to talk to her.
Many of the cats that died from Ketamine were not sphynx.
post #9 of 20
My vet (and the vet I will soon be working for -- I'm just waiting on that darned drug screen to come back ) does not use Ketamine. They primarily use Isoflurane and Sevoflurane. They do also use Propofol. I know that they used to use Ketamine, but no longer offer it as they feel its risks far outweigh its benefits.

But, to be safe, and because I feel so strongly about it, I have it on all of my pets' records to not use Ketamine -- no matter what. And, I have ensured that it is on my pets' records at the emergency vet's office as well. Ketamine was determined to be the cause of my father's cat's death and I have at least two other friends who have losts pets to Ketamine. And, it's not just cats. A dear friend of mine lost her dachsund due to Ketamine. I will never allow it to be used on any of my pets and I do what I can to ensure that others are aware of its dangers.

Aside from the Ketamine, I have other meds on my cats' files that are either a strict DO NOT USE or a CONSULT OWNER BEFORE USE. I have done the same for my dogs, but so as not to get into all of that, I will keep it on track with only discussing my kitties. On their DO NOT USE list is Ketamine and Metacam. And, on the CONSULT OWNER BEFORE USE list are a number of drugs such as Convenia, Clavamox, Buprenex, Flagyl, and all steroids. I also require my vet to contact me if doing innoculations as I have some pets with sensitivities and I insist that they only receive adjuvent-free rabies shots. I used to worry about being seen as a pain, but I'd rather be a "nut" than a "normal" person with a ill or dead pet. But, thankfully, I don't have to worry as my vet and the vet office as a whole is wonderful and supportive.

Just as I must be an advocate for my own health and health care, I need to be informed and an advocate for my pets' health and health care. And, in my pets' case, it's even more important for me to be up-to-date about information and on top of things -- they don't have a voice and so I'm their voice. It's responsible pet ownership and I'm more than happy to do what I can (and need to do). Good on you for doing the same.
post #10 of 20
I have requested never to have ketamine used (or had requested) on Boo, because of his kidney issues, which I found out he had kidney issues back in 2006 and he was put under at least 3 times with ketamine/valium. This probably made the CRF progress even worse and I was unaware of it until he crashed. That's just my personal experience. I have no advanced knowledge of it except I will never have it used on my cats ever. My personal vet said she would've rather not had to sedate my cat at all. In any case I am against Ketamine/Valium my own cats.
post #11 of 20
I almost lost four kittens to ketamine during a neuter and it was only by the grace of God and the wonderful care of a vet at a local clinic that they pulled through. It is on all the animals charts not to use Ketamine at all- She called it falling down the K- Hole when the kittens were crashing. One kitten never fully recovered and suffered brain damage. Old school vets use ketamine- vets in the know and feline specialists never do-
post #12 of 20
Thread Starter 
If there are so many cases of ketamine complications, why is it that a web search reveals next to nothing? If all the "good vets" know about this danger, why can't I find any literature on it? Aside from what Mews2much provided, of course.
post #13 of 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by MissKalamata View Post
If there are so many cases of ketamine complications, why is it that a web search reveals next to nothing? If all the "good vets" know about this danger, why can't I find any literature on it? Aside from what Mews2much provided, of course.
Because it is mostly just hype and scare tactics. You likely won't find any studies done by Veterinary teaching facilities condemning the use of Ketamine, because there is no hard factual scientific evidence proving that it's dangerous. Anectdotal evidence provided on line by a few people who have experienced a problem with it really proves nothing.

Any number of reasons can exist for an animal having a problem with Ketamine or any other anesthetic. Such as poor health, underlying medical conditions and improper administration by the veterinary staff.
post #14 of 20
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Carolina View Post
I am confused by your statement and wondering you you read the same articles that I read from that site? Such as this one?
http://www.gimmiesfishes.org/docs/ke...ichardsDVM.pdf
Okay, I meant "more often a problem for sphynx" rather than "mostly a problem for sphynx". Semantics.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Alison Joy
My vet (and the vet I will soon be working for -- I'm just waiting on that darned drug screen to come back ) does not use Ketamine. They primarily use Isoflurane and Sevoflurane. They do also use Propofol. I know that they used to use Ketamine, but no longer offer it as they feel its risks far outweigh its benefits.
I have seen articles indicating that anesthetic in gas form is frequently safer than an injection. In my case, the vet wants to knock out my cat with ketamine/valium, and then use isoflurane gas to maintain the anesthesia. Maybe that makes a difference in regards to safety?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Kai Bengals
Because it is mostly just hype and scare tactics. You likely won't find any studies done by Veterinary teaching facilities condemning the use of Ketamine, because there is no hard factual scientific evidence proving that it's dangerous. Anectdotal evidence provided on line by a few people who have experienced a problem with it really proves nothing.
See, this is what I'm starting to suspect. Interesting you should say this - if I'm remembering correctly, one of the articles I skimmed over claimed that bengals are especially at risk from ketamine.

Of course all anesthetics carry potential risks. One of the links from the Gimmiesfishes site describes a negative reaction to isoflurane: http://www.vetinfo.com/canesthesia.html
The link also implies that undiagnosed cardiomyopathy heightens the risk of anesthesia in general - not limited to ketamine.
post #15 of 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by MissKalamata View Post
See, this is what I'm starting to suspect. Interesting you should say this - if I'm remembering correctly, one of the articles I skimmed over claimed that bengals are especially at risk from ketamine.
Haven't had a problem in 13 years of breeding bengals and using ketamine.
post #16 of 20
Thread Starter 
I just encountered this article: http://www.petconnection.com/blog/20...kill-your-pet/
(But note that the author seems to be a vet tech, not a vet.)

The article coincides with my vet's opinion that induction by a gas is in fact harder on the cat. It makes sense that significantly more gas is needed to induce anesthesia than to maintain it. And that intubation, while it may carry risks, can be a lifesaver in the event of a reaction to anesthesia.

This doesn't say anything about ketamine specifically, though. I guess the next step is to compare ketamine/valium to other injectable induction agents.


Do realize I'm not trying to be belligerent here. I just want some factual answers, and much of what I'm finding goes against what I've been told on this forum.

Also, those of you whose cats or friend's cats died or reacted badly from ketamine, was the ketamine used only to induce anesthesia or to maintain it as well? Was it ketamine/valium, ketamine/xylazine, or a different combination?
Thank you.
post #17 of 20
Not to go OT, but Allison Joy, why do you have Clavamox on there? Just curious. Boo was on that for awhile and the new vet only used Clindamycin on him. I believe. Just curious
post #18 of 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by Snickerdoodle View Post
Not to go OT, but Allison Joy, why do you have Clavamox on there? Just curious. Boo was on that for awhile and the new vet only used Clindamycin on him. I believe. Just curious
Clavamox is on Tolly's and Jennie's "do not use" list because they are allergic to it, it makes them very sick.

Mazy had never had trouble with it until the last time she had to take it for a bad ear infection. It seems, in my experience, that the more often they take the Clavamox, the less tolerant of it they are. So Mazy will probably get the do not use clavamox on her chart, too, if she has trouble with it next time she needs it (if ever)
post #19 of 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by MissKalamata View Post
I just encountered this article: http://www.petconnection.com/blog/20...kill-your-pet/
(But note that the author seems to be a vet tech, not a vet.)

The article coincides with my vet's opinion that induction by a gas is in fact harder on the cat. It makes sense that significantly more gas is needed to induce anesthesia than to maintain it. And that intubation, while it may carry risks, can be a lifesaver in the event of a reaction to anesthesia.

This doesn't say anything about ketamine specifically, though. I guess the next step is to compare ketamine/valium to other injectable induction agents.


Do realize I'm not trying to be belligerent here. I just want some factual answers, and much of what I'm finding goes against what I've been told on this forum.

Also, those of you whose cats or friend's cats died or reacted badly from ketamine, was the ketamine used only to induce anesthesia or to maintain it as well? Was it ketamine/valium, ketamine/xylazine, or a different combination?
Thank you.
The thing is, you can find anything to corroborate anything on the internet. Many of us here will not allow ketamine use in our cats (and my vet does not use it)but as you read, some here think it's fine and you can go elsewhere and find lots of people who think it's great.

The bottom line is, do you trust your vet. If you do trust your vet, and you have discussed all this with her/him and receive answers that satisfy you, then go with what your vet uses. If you don't trust your vet, find a vet you trust.
post #20 of 20
I do not use clavamox for some of my cats.
Coco is very allergic to it and throws up as soon as she has it.
My vet told me the other day that many cats are becoming immune to clavamox so they have to use stronger antibiotics.

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