Will a guinea pig die or electrocuted when electro-excision of his ear tumour is being done? After all, he is only 800 grams and is small compared to dogs and cats where electro-surgery is well established as a procedure.
The critical point is the anaesthesia. Too Little, the GP may wake up and die of fright and pain when electrodes are applied. Too much, the GP may die. Just sufficient, the GP does not feel the pain and the surgery goes smoothly.
So what anaesthesia is to be used?
In this case study with Dr Daniel, I demonstrated the electro-surgical excision of the 3-year-old male GP with a large ear tumour. This would probably be one of those rare occasions to see such an electro-surgery for him as there are few cases in GP requiring such a method. I said that scalpel cutting would not make for a clean cut, unlike electro-surgery. Talk must be shown by action and so I did it today.
3 days of antibiotics and cleaning first. Today is operation day.
Zoletil 100. 800 g GP.
I drew 0.05 ml Zoletil 100. Added 0.05 ml normal saline. Injected 0.1 ml IM muscle backside.
Less than 5 minutes, the GP was done. He could still feel pain (forcep onto ear edge) and so isoflurane gas was given carefully for a few seconds. The trick her is to give not too much and yet not too little by mask. I checked the eye blinking reflex. Just at the point of no blinking and blinking. A twilight zone.
Isoflurane gas at 2% given to effect.
The electro-excision began. Some little noises from the GP when electro-surgery was applied but no waking up. All done within 2 minutes.
GP woke up after 30 minutes and was OK to go home to a happy gentleman owner who had brought him to Toa Payoh Vets on Saturday to see Dr Jason Teo, saying that the GP had a bite wound. It was not a bite wound but an infected ulcerated tumour.
Electrosurgery in GP and dwarf hamsters. I worry that insufficient analgesia may cause fright and heart attack. So I seldom use it too. But, in theory, the GP and dwarf hamster will not be electrocuted or die of heart attack if proper procedures and analgesia are adopted. The vet must know how to use the tools of his trade!