Sometimes during the course of care, it may become necessary for us to anesthetize your pet. This is done for your pet’s safety and comfort. Most healthy pets, including senior cats and dogs, tolerate anesthesia well, but we understand that you may have some concerns.
First it is important to remember that the greatest risks of any procedure are those of the procedure itself, and while anesthesia does carry its own risks, these are well managed by our surgical team.
To help you better understand why we use anesthesia, and what the process looks like, we’re including a bit more information below. We hope you find it useful.
Before your pet is anesthetized, we do the following…
- Perform a physical exam
- Review your pet’s medical history for any potential concerns
- Blood tests may be done to check for an ongoing medical problem or to screen for anesthesia risk
- Tests may include blood panels (including white cell counts to assess the presence of infection), radiographs (x-rays), or cardiovascular tests such as an ECG/EKG
- A pre-anesthetic sedative is often given to help pets relax before administration of the anesthetic
While your pet is asleep…
- Your pet’s vital signs are monitored to ensure safety during the procedure—this includes monitoring of blood pressure, temperature, heart rate, etc.
- Your pet may receive intravenous fluids to maintain hydration as well as medications to maintain blood pressure and circulation
- Your pet may be intubated to provide a secure airway during the procedure
- Your pet’s oxygen saturation levels are monitored throughout for safety
- An EKG may be used to monitor your pet’s heart rhythm
- Warming blankets may be used for comfort and to help maintain body temperature.
- Your pet will continue to be monitored
- Your pet will be extubated by a vet tech to ensure that your animal can breathe and swallow safely
- Your pet will be placed in a quiet, darkened kennel to make recovery less stressful
- Your pet will receive pads or blankets for comfort as needed
- Fluids and medications will be maintained during recovery and monitored by our staff
- Your pet will receive an injection of pain medication to help maintain comfort
- Most pets get to go home the same day of the procedure
- You will receive detailed instructions on the postoperative care of your pet.