As a veterinarian, I am often faced with this question when discussing procedures that involve sedation and/or anesthesia. There has been a long-held notion – and a lot of misinformation around the internet, etc. – that age is an anesthesia risk. It’s not entirely a surprise – after all, we visualize in our minds a young, presumably healthy person compared to an aged, decrepit individual with numerous health problems. Of course we would feel confident that the young person would be just fine while we would imagine the old-timer unlikely to survive the procedure.
To set the record straight: Age is not an anesthesia risk!
To assume that age is an anesthesia risk results in two big mistakes that I encounter pet owners – and unfortunately some veterinary practices and shelters – making on a regular basis: