One of the most commonly used animal anesthetic agents has been recalled by the manufacturer. The drug, ketamine, may be used at the start of major procedures prior to administration of anesthetic gasses. For short procedures such as cat neuters it may be used alone. It also is used in small quantities for pain management after major surgeries.
A number of batches of the drug are being recalled, according to an FDA press release, due to “an increased trend in serious adverse events associated with this product.” I called Teva Pharmaceuticals, the manufacturer of the product, to try to find out what that means but I was not able to reach a live human.
If your pet is scheduled to go under anesthesia, be sure to talk to your vet about the recall. Some vets may not be aware that this is happening.
If your vet is planning to administer ketamine to your pet, you also may want to ask why he or she would choose this drug, which is very old school, over newer, safer medicines such as propofol. Even without the recall, the safety profile of ketamine is not as good as propofol’s.