How old is too old for anesthesia?













A message from Dr. Prescott:

Depends on who you ask and how good they are with anesthesia. 
The age is not the important factor but rather how the major organs are working. 
For example, compare a young Boxer with aortic stenosis (risk of sudden death) to an old Lab with degenerative myelopathy-one patient looks healthy (Boxer) and the other looks debilitated (Lab with degenerative myelopathy, good organ function).

At Ohio Veterinary Dental Service, I tell clients “Anesthesia is the most important thing I do.  I do dentistry well, but anesthesia is the most important thing I do."  It better be, as most cases sent to me are old pets with at least one major organ not functioning properly.  As part of my advanced dental training, I have recently spent 40 hours of additional anesthestic training at The Ohio State University.  So, how old is too old to clean a pet’s teeth….depends on who you ask and how good they are with anesthesia. 



"When we visited your office with Butler, I was very concerned about him making it through anesthesia, because he was 15 yrs and had a history of both heart and liver problems. But when I saw you had tears in your eyes, when we were talking about him, I knew he was going to be alright because you really cared.  I just wanted to you know this, and that we will be forever grateful for all you did."  Lisa R.

Ohio Veterinary Dental Service
Serving Ohio, Indiana, Kentucky, West Virginia, and Western Pennsylvania
614.939.9942