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Animals In Print
The On-Line Newsletter

From 20 June 2009 Issue

Debate Over Pet Anesthesia

If you have a dog or cat, you will want to read this story. A local woman believes an FDA approved anesthesia killed her beloved pet.

It is called Xylazine. The anesthesia has been around for decades. Some veterinarians interviewed say they don't use it.

Patricia Deeds cries everyday for her pet. The tears started flowing a month ago when she took her cockapoo Motley in to be neutered. Moments after a veterinarian injected him with the anesthesia Xylazine, his heart stopped.

"He was my baby. He was my companion, he was so special," said Deeds. "He should be here with me now. He should not have died."

An autopsy found Motley healthy in every way. This got Deeds researching Xylazine. What she found on the Food and Drug Administration web site shocked her. Hundreds of complaints about Xylazine killing pets dating back to 1987.

"I don't know any progressive veterinary clinic that uses Xylazine," said vet Gary Weitzman.

Weitzman can think of no reason why anyone would use Xylazine. He characterizes it as old fashioned.

"There are so many more advanced and updated anesthesias today," he said.

At the Waldorf pet clinic a representative stressed Xylazine is safe and the deaths associated with it represent a fraction of total surgeries. Still, Deeds believes it cost her her dearest friend.

The complaints about Xylazine represent only those who took the time to fill out the necessary form and file it with the Food and Drug Administration.

Now everyone interviews for this story stressed the vast majority of spay and neuterings even those with Xylazine are successful.

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Please send comments and submittals to the Editor: Linda Beane [email protected]

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