Anesthesia and Patient Monitoring

Anesthesia and patient monitoring varies greatly among clinics. When you choose your veterinarian, be sure to question the types of anesthetics used and the protocols for monitoring anesthesia. Often the more expensive anesthetics are safer to use; however, anesthetics are also chosen for other reasons including their ability to control pain.

Managing Anxiety

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Sometimes a pet may be too painful or anxious about certain procedures. Sedation may be used to calm an animal under various conditions. The animal remains awake or may ‘sleep lightly’ but is easily aroused when stimulated.

When pets are extremely fearful, we can prescribe a form of treatment that can be given at home prior to their appointment to reduce anxiety and improve acceptance of handling while at the veterinary hospital.

In addition pet owners frequently request sedation for their animals during travel, thunderstorms, fireworks, etc. Sedation and tranquilization are specific for each patient, based on health concerns. Each animal should be assessed prior to dispensing these medicines.

Patient Monitoring

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We monitor our patients closely to keep them as safe as possible during procedures that require general anesthesia. A veterinary technician will continually assess your pet’s heart and respiratory rate, blood pressure, and other vital signs to help prevent any anesthetic risk.

Please feel free to ask us about our patient monitoring protocol or any concerns you might have about your pet’s procedure. We’d be happy to discuss these matters in more detail.

General Anesthesia

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For some procedures, your pet will need to be administered general anesthesia so that he or she will be unconscious and not feel pain. Many pet owners worry about their pets being administered general anesthesia. We can assure you that modern anesthesia is generally quite safe; to further lower any risk, we perform a physical examination and run blood work ahead of time to catch any underlying health issues. In addition, we follow a specific anesthetic protocol, including monitoring vital signs during the procedure, to ensure the safety of our patients.

We begin most general anesthetic procedures by administering a sedative to help the pet relax and decrease any anxiety and pain. We then administer an intravenous drug to provide complete anesthesia and place a breathing tube into the patient’s trachea (windpipe). To maintain the state of unconsciousness, we deliver a gas anesthetic in combination with oxygen through the breathing tube.

Please contact us if you have any questions or concerns about your pet receiving general anesthesia or about the procedure for which your pet is scheduled.

Local Anesthesia

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If your pet is having a minor surgical or diagnostic procedure performed, we sometimes use a local anesthetic to help control pain. For example, when we perform a biopsy (in which a small portion of tissue is surgically removed so it can be examined), we often use a local anesthetic. Local anesthetics cause a loss of sensation in the area where the procedure is being performed. We sometimes use a sedative and/or anxiolytic (anti-anxiety medication) in combination with the local anesthetic to keep pets calm during a procedure.

Please contact us if you have any questions or concerns about your pet receiving local anesthesia or about the procedure for which your pet is scheduled.