ISSN 2398-2942      

Anesthesia: in gastrointestinal surgery


Jackie Brearley


  • Patients with gastrointestinal disease require special considerations in the peri-operative period. A thorough understanding of the pathologic mechanisms of each disease process is important for appropriate management each condition.

Gastric dilatation and volvulus (GDV)

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Septic peritonitis from gastrointestinal disease

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Protein losing enteropathy (PLE)

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Further Reading


Refereed papers

  • Recent references from PubMed and VetMedResource.
  • Elke G, Schädler D, Engel C et al (2008) Current practice in nutritional support and its association with mortality in septic patients-results from a national, prospective, multicenter study. Crit Care Med 36 (6), 1762-7 PubMed.
  • Martin L G, Luther T Y, Alperin D C et al (2008) Serum antibodies against human albumin in critically ill and healthy dogs. JAVMA 232 (7), 1004-1009 PubMed.
  • Mathews K A (2008) The Therapeutic Use of 25% Human Serum Albumin in Critically Ill Dogs and Cats. Vet Clin North Am Small Anim Pract 38 (3), 595-605 PubMed.
  • Buber T, Saragusty J, Ranen E et al (2007) Evaluation of lidocane treatment and risk factors for death associated with gastric dilatation and volvulus in dogs: 112 cases (1997-2005). JAVMA 230 (9), 1334-1339 PubMed.
  • Burkitt J, Haskins S C, Nelson R W et al (2007) Relative Adrenal Insufficiency in Dogs with Sepsis. JVIM 21 (2), 226-231 PubMed.
  • Francis A H, Martin L G, Haldorson G J et al (2007) Adverse reactions suggestive of type III hypersensitivity in six healthy dogs given human albumin. JAVMA 230 (6), 873-879 PubMed.
  • Beck J J, Staatz A J, Pelsue D H et al (2006) Risk factors associated with short-term outcome and development of perioperative complications in dogs undergoing surgery because of gastric dilatation-volvulus: 166 cases (1992-2003). JAVMA 229 (12), 1934-1939 PubMed.
  • Bergener I A, Kovacevic A, Mauldin G N et al (2006) Cardiac Troponins as Indicators of Acute Myocardial Damage in Dogs. JVIM 20 (2), 277-283 PubMed.
  • Dubois M J, Orellana-Jimenez C, Melot C et al (2006) Albumin administration improves organ function in critically ill hypoalbuminemic patients: A prospective, randomized, controlled, pilot study. Crit Care Med 34 (10), 2536-2540 PubMed.
  • Parton A T, Volk S W, Weisse C (2006) Gastric ulceration subsequent to partial invagination of the stomach in a dog with gastric dilatation-volvulus. JAVMA 228 (12), 1895-1900 PubMed.
  • Sihler K C, Nathens A B (2006) Management of Severe Sepsis in the Surgical Patient. Surgical Clinics of North America 86 (6), 1457-1481 PubMed.
  • Aroch I, Klement E, Segev G (2005) Clinical, Biochemical, and Hematological Characteristics, Disease Prevalence, and Prognosis of Dogs Presenting with Neutrophil Cytoplasmic Toxicity. JVIM 19 (1), 64-73 PubMed.
  • Mathews K A, Barry M (2005) The use of 25% human serum albumin: outcome and efficacy in raising serum albumin and systemic blood pressure in critically ill dogs and cats. JVECC 15 (2), 110-118 VetMedResource.
  • Ordoñez C A, Puyana J C (2004) Management of Peritonitis in the Critically Ill Patient. Surgical Clinics of North America 86 (6), 1323-1349 PubMed.
  • Throop J L, Kerl M E, Cohn L A (2004) Albumin in Health and Disease: Causes and Treatment of Hypoalbuminemia. Compend Contin Educ Pract Vet 26 (12), 940-48 VetMedResource.
  • Bonczynski J J, Ludwig L L, Barton L J et al (2003) Comparison of Peritoneal Fluid and Peripheral Blood pH, Bicarbonate, Glucose and Lactate Concentration as a Diagnostic Tool for Septic Peritonitis in Dogs and Cats. Veterinary Surgery 32 (2), 161-166 PubMed.
  • Mazzaferro E M, Rudloff E, Kirby R (2002) The role of albumin replacement in the critically ill veterinary patient. JVECC 12 (2), 113-124 VetMedResource.
  • German A J, Hall E J, Day M J (2001) Immune Cell Populations within the Duodenal Mucosa of Dogs with Enteropathies. JVIM 15 (1), 14-25 PubMed.
  • Lanz O I, Ellison G, Bellah J R et al (2001) Surgical Treatment of Septic Peritonitis Without Abdominal Drainage in 28 Dogs. JAAHA 37 (1), 87-92 PubMed.
  • Brockman D J, Holt D E, Washabau R J (2000) Pathogenesis of Canine Gastric Dilatation-Voluvlus Syndrome: Is there a Unifying Hypothesis? Compendium on Continuing Education for the Practicing Veterinarian 22 (11), 1-7 ResearchGate.
  • Glickman L T, Glickman N W, Schellenberg D B et al (2000) Non-dietary risk factors for gastric dilatation-volvulus in large and giant breed dogs. JAVMA 217 (10), 1492-1499 PubMed.
  • Winkler K, Greenfield C (2000) Potential Prognostic Indicators in Diffuse Peritonitis Treated with Open Peritoneal Drainage in the Canine Patient. JVECC 10 (4), 259-267 VetMedResource.
  • de Papp E, Drobatz K J, Huges D (1999) Plasma lactate as a predictor of gastric necrosis and survival among dogs with gastric dilatation-volvulus: 102 cases (1995-1998). JAMVA 215 (1), 49-52 PubMed.
  • Brockman D J, Washabau R J, Drobatz K J (1995) Canine gastric dilatation/volvulus syndrome in a veterinary critical care unit: 295 cases (1986-1992). JAVMA 207 (4), 460-464 PubMed.
  • Harvey H J (1990) Complications of Small Intestinal Biopsy in Hypoalbuminemic Dogs. Vet Surg 19 (4), 289-292 PubMed.

Other sources of information

  • Silverstein D C, Hopper K (2009) Small Animal Critical Care Medicine.Saunders, St Louis, pp 579-588.
  • Hackendahl N H, Hill R C (2007) Enteral Feeding in Dogs with Septic Peritonitis. Conference proceedings from ACVIM.
  • Kerl Marie E (2005) Acid-Base Abnormalities in the Septic Patient. Proceedings from the International Veterinary Emergency and Critical Care Symposium.
  • Carol G (2004) Local Analgesic and Anesthetic techniques. Western Veterinary Conference Proceedings.
  • SAFE Study Investigators (2004) A Comparison of Albumin and Saline for Fluid Resuscitation in the Intensive Care Unit. NEJM 350 (22), 2247-2256.
  • Steiner J M (2003) Protein-Losing Enteropathies in Dogs. Proceedings from the World Small Animal Veterinary Association World Congress.
  • Delaforcade A (2003) Post Operative Care of the Septic Patient. Proceedings from the International Veterinary Emergency and Critical Care Symposium.
  • Bonangura J (2000) Current Veterinary Therapeutics XIII.pp139-139; 641-642.
  • Plumb D (1999) Veterinary Drug Handbook 5th ed.


Acepromazine maleate

Acute Respiratory Distress Syndrome (ARDS)



Analgesia: NSAID

Analgesia: overview

Anesthesia: maintenance

Anesthetic induction: overview

Anesthetic monitoring: overview

Anesthetic monitoring: pulse oximetry

Anesthetic premedication: overview

Arterial blood gas sampling


Blood pressure: direct measurement



Butorphanol tartrate


Central venous pressure



Disseminated intravascular coagulation


ECG: ambulatory monitoring

ECG: overview

Endotracheal intubation


Epidural analgesia technique



Fentanyl (parenteral)

Fluid therapy

Fluid therapy: for anesthesia


Gastropexy: belt loop

Gastrostomy: percutaneous tube 1 (endoscopic)


Heart: dysrhythmia

Hematology: activated clotting time

Hematology: activated partial thromboplastin time (APTT)

Hematology: prothrombin time







Kidney: acute kidney injury (AKI)

Lactate measurement








Nasoesophageal intubation

Nitrous oxide



Pain: management







Protein-losing enteropathy


Shock: septic

Stomach: gastric dilatation / volvulus (GDV) syndrome


Systemic inflammatory response syndrome (SIRS)

Therapeutics: antimicrobial drug


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