Is anesthesia safe for my pet?
It may sound strange, but we will be asking the same question about your pet. It would be a lie to say anesthesia is risk free. We do our best to evaluate each patient on an individual basis, and determine if anesthesia is safe for them. By doing this we can reduce the risks of anesthesia. We understand that putting your pet under anesthesia may cause you to feel uneasy, but we are here to answer any question that you may have, and hopefully ease any concerns as well.
What happens before, during, and after anesthesia?
Before your pet is put under anesthesia, the veterinarian will perform a full physical exam, during this they will be paying close attention to their heart and lung sounds, to make sure there is not abnormalities. Next, your pet will have a blood panel performed, this gives us vital information about what is going on inside their bodies; i.e.: liver and kidney values. Knowing these ahead of time allows us to design an anesthetic protocol for each pet, keeping safety as our number one priority. On some of our senior patients, we will perform chest x-rays, this takes us one step further to ensure that your pet is a good anesthetic candidate.
Now that we know your pet is healthy and they are a good anesthetic candidate… Before any anesthetic procedure we will ask you to fast your pet after their dinner the night before their procedure, much like in the human world. After they arrive at the hospital, your pet will be examined once again by the veterinarian performing the surgery/procedure. They are also examined by our licensed veterinary technicians.
Next your pet will be given an injection of a pain medication and a sedative. This allows us to induce anesthesia in a stress-free way for your pet. They are given a pain medication, to help control any pain prior to the procedure, this gives us proper pain control right away.
After your pet is under anesthesia, we will connect our monitoring machines, these machines will monitor your pet’s heart rate, respiratory rate, blood oxygen saturation, temperature, and EKG. During their anesthetic procedure, a licensed veterinary technician will be closely monitoring your pet’s vitals to ensure they remain stable.
Once the procedure is complete, you pet will be woken up in a cage with a large amount of warm bedding and a pillow for their head. They are closely monitored until they are released to you.
What is the recovery period from anesthesia? What do I need to do?
It normally takes 12-18 hours for your pet to fully recover from anesthesia. So, when you come to take your pet home, he/she may be a little unsteady on their feet. They should be kept on a leash when exiting our office to your car. When you get home it is important to remember not to feed them a large amount of food or water right away, since they have not eaten in quite some time we will need to ease them back into it slowly; some pets may want to eat or drink a large amount right away, and this could cause some stomach upset.
Next, you will want to keep them in a warm, quiet area, ideally free from other animals or children. Your pet should be back to their old self within 12-24 hours.
Again, when it comes to anesthesia safety is our number one priority. We pride ourselves in taking every precaution when it comes to your pet and anesthesia. Please don’t hesitate to call and talk with one of our staff if you have any additional questions.