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My ex was a vet tech (his mother a vet) that assisted with surgery and anesthesia he was strongly against the use of ketamine, amitriptyline, and a pain medication that I wished I remembered the name of.

They were both adverse to using ketamine in any animal for two reason:
When ketamine was used alone for sedation, the animal can still feel everything that is happening.
They said they have seen some serious psychological issues arise from using ketamine. Where an animals personality has been completely changed.

They thought the same for amitiptyline and that one pain medication too I can't remember the name of.

Not saying I believe all this, but there got to be something going on if even vets are adverse to using it at times.


Staff member
maybe using it alone is the key word...I know my vet does not use it alone...and like I said he will use anything I want, but I prefer my vet to use drugs he is familiar with...


Staff member
Also, I am going to research this a bit more and see what I come up with. Seems like propofol and ISO are very popular.

Per Lausund

Staff member
I have used ketamine on cats and lynxes with no problem, but NEVER on its own! Ktamine is a so-called dissociative anaesthetic, and needs, really needs, to be covered by a longer-lasting sedative like xylazine or medetomodine (or other alpha adrenoceptor agonist, those are the two I use). on its own ketamine is extremely exciting to watch, and the animal will react to any stimulus and have nightmares waking up. Why some people use it as a "recreational" drug is beyond me! timeline is first sedative , then ketamine (they can be combined if you know your dosing), and never use more ketamine than necessary, it cannot be allowed to outlast the sedatve. Or you (or rather, your vet)can skip ketamine and combine the sedatve with an opioid (dosage-sensitive!). propofol works, too, but it is short-acting! and needs lots of monitoring. I would strongly advise not using isoflurane without premedication, induction is very stressful for all involved!
I prefer injectables myself, probably because I was brought up at a time when gas was rarely used. Also there is an environmental problem locally with gases, the operator risks getting exposed to low doses over time.

Medetomidine is excellent, I use it routinely on any animal which can purr, but you need to give the animals time to calm down,nand I never sedate an overly stressed cat. Some say ketamine is dangerous to Savannahs, I don't honestly know and don't see why, given with a sedative it's a great drug.

Remember: any anesthesia or sedation carries a risk.

Per Lausund

Staff member
About feeding raw: I don't know about vets where you are, but feeding and animal husbandry ( including small, purry carnivores) was definitely on the agenda for our exams here in Norway. The reason most vets don't recommend raw is that it will contain microbes that have not been killed by cooking(!). Heat-treatment is the most used method for killing unwantedmicrobes and parasites in foods, lack of heat-treatment is the reason Brucellosis, TB and Salmonella and gastrointestinal parasites (to name a few) are found in foods. And before you start the "but" thing here: the most important bit is not heat treatment but healthy, non-disease carrying animals and use of properly composted (heat-treated!!!)(that's what composting is) manure when growing "organic". Problem is, not all food producers are as reliable and good as one would want, so nasty E coli, Brucella and others do find their way into raw foods. Sometimes. And, they're mostly invisible. Norwegian laws state that anything that's destined to be animal fodder from slaughterhouses or other sources be heat-treated, and we all know what happened when rendering temperatures in the UK were reduced from 121 C to 95 in the early 80-ies. Preventing disease transmission as part of public health work is still important to most vets, so they will rarely recommend raw. And believe me, a Serval will thrive on grilled chicken!
My vets haven't used Ketamine in years on any cats. They say they do not like the side effects of having the cats act freaky coming off of it.


Savannah Super Cat
Jengo gets neutered tomorrow, I called the vet to see what type of anesthetic they will use and they said they are using isoflorane. I'm so NEW to the SV cat game - I'm new to having a pet and am probably going to go way overboard to make sure that he's being treated like a king. I feel better knowing that he won't be on ketamine of there is the slightest chance it could be hurtful or dangerous.