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To determine the incidence of and potential risk factors for postoperative regurgitation and vomiting (PORV), postoperative nausea and vomiting (PONV), and aspiration pneumonia in geriatric dogs using premedication with maropitant and famotidine, intraoperative fentanyl, and postoperative fentanyl as part of an anesthetic protocol.


105 client-owned geriatric dogs that underwent general anesthesia for a major surgical procedure between January 2019 and March 2020.


Medical records were reviewed to collect data on signalment, historical gastrointestinal signs, American Society of Anesthesiologists (ASA) score, indication for surgery, duration of anesthesia and surgery, patient position during surgery, mode of ventilation, and perioperative administration of maropitant, famotidine, anticholinergics, opioids, colloidal support, NSAID, corticosteroids, and appetite stimulants. The incidence of postoperative regurgitation, vomiting, nausea, and aspiration pneumonia was calculated, and variables were each analyzed for their association with these outcomes.


2 of 105 (1.9%) dogs regurgitated, 1 of 105 (1.0%) dogs developed aspiration pneumonia, 4 of 105 (3.8%) dogs exhibited nausea, and no dogs vomited. Identified possible risk factors included older age (≥ 13 years old) for postoperative regurgitation, regurgitation for postoperative aspiration pneumonia, and high ASA score (≥ 4) for both regurgitation and aspiration pneumonia.


The use of an antiemetic protocol including maropitant, famotidine, and fentanyl in geriatric dogs resulted in very low incidences of PORV, PONV, and aspiration pneumonia. Future prospective studies are warranted to further evaluate and mitigate postoperative risks.

Open access
in Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association