A 36-kg (79-lb) castrated male Greyhound (dog 1) and a 25-kg (55 lb) spayed female Greyhound (dog 2) underwent general anesthesia for dental care with similar perianesthetic protocols on multiple occasions from 2013 to 2016. Both dogs had periodontal disease but were otherwise deemed healthy. Both dogs developed clinically relevant hyperkalemia, with signs including loss of P waves on ECG tracings, during multiple anesthetic events.
Dog 1 developed hyperkalemia during 2 of 2 anesthetic events, with ECG changes noted during the first event. Dog 2 developed hyperkalemia during 3 of 4 anesthetic events, with ECG changes identified during the second and third events. Serum potassium concentration for both dogs was within the reference range prior to and between anesthetic events. No underlying etiopathogenesis for hyperkalemia was identified for either dog.
TREATMENT AND OUTCOME
In each hyperkalemic event, the clinician stopped the dental procedure and continued to provide supportive care and monitoring while the dog recovered from anesthesia. The ECG changes resolved, and serum potassium concentration returned to the reference range rapidly after inhalant anesthetic administration was discontinued. The dogs were discharged from the hospital without further complications.
Hyperkalemia in anesthetized Greyhounds resulted in serious cardiac conduction abnormalities, which could be potentially fatal if not recognized and promptly treated. Further investigation into the etiopathogenesis, prevention and treatment strategies, and genetic or familial components of this condition is indicated.