Phoebe's story

Phoebe is well known to all of the team at the Pascoe Vale Vet Hospital, as she visits regularly for treatment of arthritis, thyroid and renal disease. Thanks to the dedication and love of her owners, she is now in her 18th year and travelling along quite well. The major hurdles for Phoebe's health this year have been the undertaking of two general anaesthetics, firstly for a dental procedure to clean some very sore teeth, and secondly to surgically remove a cancerous lump. Both procedures have been a huge success as Phoebe's comfort level is much improved, and we are all very pleased with the outcome.

Having an anaesthetic and surgery at 18 years of age is a big consideration and something which needs careful planning and monitoring, but it is certainly achievable. The vet and nursing team here at Pascoe Vale manage senior pet anaesthetics on a regular basis and are therefore very experienced. In order to minimise anaesthetic risk, we take a multi-step approach. The first step is to run a blood test to assess current health status so that we can either treat and resolve issues prior to the anaesthetic, or take steps to control them whilst under anaesthetic. In Phoebe's case, we tested her thyroid to make sure it was functioning at the correct level because thyroid illness can place extra stress on the heart when not well controlled. And in order to manage her renal disease, she was admitted to hospital the day prior to her anaesthetic so that intravenous fluid therapy could be started early. With this sort of thorough preparation we felt confident Phoebe was able to go ahead with her general anaesthetic procedure.

Pascoe Vale Vet Hospital has anaesthetic monitoring equipment to measure heart rate, blood pressure and oxygen saturation. An anaesthetic regime was tailored to Phoebe's blood test results and age, as were the prescribed take home medications. She had two very stable anaesthetics, and both recoveries were without complication.

It has been several months since Phoebe's dental procedure and she is eating more comfortably and has added some weight to her lean frame. The staff have been thrilled to see the obvious improvement in her general health and comfort. It has only been a short time since her tumour removal and we are all crossing our fingers it does not reoccur. In the mean time, Phoebe need not worry about anything other than when we will finally get some pleasant weather so that she can relax in the sun.