Anaesthetic shock has been reported in the Clumber, here is some information for you.


to Dr Kathryn Brock BVSc DipVetAnaes

University of Melbourne

Dear Dr Brock

An article prepared by you for the Shetland Sheepdog Club of Victoria about breed reaction to general anaesthesology has been brought to my attention. You mentioned a number of breeds had been reported as remaining heavily seated after thiobarbitone administration and that these breeds were light bodied perhaps even lanky, I think the breeds named included Collie (Rough and Smooth), Shelties, and Irish Setters.

I have been concerned for a number of years about thiobarbitone anaesthesology in my Clumber Spaniels – by no means a light weight or lanky breed. Two bitches I have had spayed (and HD X-rayed) for pet homes after raising a itter each and a third bitch had a Caesarean. ALL three were very slow to recover from the anesthetic and all three exhibited signs of severe stiffness – perhaps acute bruising. I have very recently heard of another Clumber bitch who required a Caesarean and she too has displayed unduly long recovery time from the anaesthetic. This last named bitch is not from my bloodlines and is actually a Tasmanian resident.

In the UK there is very little published in our breed mag. However, I do recall one owner having problems with one preparation but then with the same dog no problems with a second anaesthetic – different brand name but the same drug!

In the US their one time top breeder, the late Mrs Bets Young, was a great advocate of morphine or perhaps it was a derivative, for “C-sections”.

In any case, if you’d like more information I wold be happy to supply the names of the vets, the name of the Tasmanian owner, and also hunt out the articles from the UK and the USA

Yours Sincerely

Miss JE Irving 11-4-94

no reply received as at 26-1-2004 14-10-2012!

My thoughts

I have a suspicion that Clumbers are over-anesthetized, based on their weight, but so much of the ‘body’ weight’ is in the bone which doesn’t respond to the anesthetic agents.

So my recommended protocol for vets is

no barbituate induction (Clumbers are easy to handle anyway, so they hardly ever resent the mask) – although I have heard ‘good’ results with ******can’t find the info at the moment****; and Jurox’s Saffn (alphaxalone 9mg/ml alphadolone acetate 3mg/ml has been used with ‘good’ effect on one or two of my Clumbers, mind you it is not recommended for dogs) for induction

mask induction with a ‘modern’ gas

and maintain at low levels of gas (for instance if a level of 2.0 (whatever units) are ‘normally’ used, the vet will probably find 1.0 is more than sufficient for a Clumber

also, in more recent times there is the option of the anaesthetic used in hospitals for elderly folk and geriatics, some vets carry it, but of course it is more expensive

ACP (acepromazine) can also produced deeper sedation in Clumbers than dose rates indicate


I have to say as I am transferring this article to a new server, that the recent experiences with the modern gaseous anaesthetics have been virtually incident free, I do urge you to pay for the extra fluids to really help your Clumber to pull out from the anaesthetic [14-10-2012]


Here is a general email newsletter article – can’t say I particularly agree with the negative/positive, I’d be more inclined to think biochemical damage, but still, do read it!

TO: Our Canine Newsletter Readers rec’d 27 June 2004 FROM: Canine Medicine Chest RE: Anesthesia Toxicity What most of us lay people don’t know or even think about is that a pet that is undergoing surgery or teeth cleaning is being administered serious toxins. In addition, the body is being subjected to severe trauma that we don’t think about either. Now don’t misunderstand, whan an animal needs to “be put under” for fixing a traumatic injury, modern veterinary medicine is usually at its very best with the latest technology. Thank the Lord for conventional vet medicine with their tremendous diagnostic and trauma procedure skills. What we would like you to think about is the risk involved in elective surgery like for teeth cleaning. We have tons of people call after the fact with all kinds of horror stories and to this day we can’t figure out why people want to clean their pet’s teeth when good clean food will do it naturally for the pet. Our philosophy is if an animal is getting all the necessary nutritional requirements its bones, hair, teeth, etc. require, then the pet will not need teeth cleaning no matter what anyone says. Frankly all of us here have had old cats and old dogs and none of them ever had their teeth cleaned and they died with all their teeth in relatively good repair. Granted their teeth were not “sparkly white”, but they never acquired gum diseases nor any other mouth diseases just because they didn’t brush their teeth. Nutrition–the right calcium, phosphorous, magnesium and other minerals for strong teeth and gums is what an animal needs, not $200 for a teeth cleaning. Think about how much good wholesome food you could buy for your pet or even the natural nutritional supplements you could buy for $200 and how long they would last. One of the more grim side effects of anesthesia toxicity is the accumulation of the toxins in the liver and how this ultimately affects other organs in the body as well as the nutritional uptake in the digestive system. Plus a little known side effect is the possible change in the pet’s personality. We hear about this a lot. Why does the pet’s behavior change? Because the pet’s polarity of positive was changed to negative. It is pretty difficult getting the pet back to where it was without all the drugs. Yes, drugs have an extreme negative effect on a pet. Yes, you can get the toxic effects of anesthesia out of your pet’s body by doing a de-toxing (purifying the blood) procedure. But that’s not the issue. The issue is why traumatize your pet and your pocketbook in the first place. Food for thought about the true best interest of your pet’s health. Yours for excellent dog health. The Team 571-4466 PS. For purifying the blood, go here: As always, call us or email us if we can help you with any dog health questions.PPPS. Pass this along to another dog lover if you wish.PPPPS. If you wish to reprint this, you have our permission, but please do so in its entirety in order for our contact information to be available. 3443 Highway 44, Logan, IA 51546