Anesthesia and Patient Monitoring

During surgery and other medical procedures, our team of veterinarians and veterinary technicians monitors all patients to ensure their safety. We monitor every procedure, regardless of whether it’s routine or more advanced. The type of anesthesia we use depends on the procedure. Some require general anesthesia, while others may only call for local anesthesia. For more specific information on our protocols, please see the individual descriptions or contact us with any questions.

Patient Monitoring

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Our anesthetic protocols and monitoring equipment contribute to a safer anesthesia. Animals under anesthesia are always placed on intravenous fluids to maintain good blood pressure as well as to provide intravenous access in case of an emergency. Anesthetic monitoring is done by a trained technician, with the help of equipment to monitor respiration, blood pressure and heart rate. We pay particular attention to pain management both pre-and post-operatively to ensure the comfort of your pet. In addition, the anesthetic recovery is done in an environment supervised by our experienced technicians.

Sedation

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Sedation is used to calm an animal under various conditions. In a veterinary hospital, it is often used to help reduce anxiety and discomfort associated with diagnostic procedures or prior to an anesthetic. Sedation is achieved by using a sedative. A sedative is a drug that has a soothing, calming, or tranquilizing effect on the nervous system. An animal can become relaxed, drowsy or even sleep after a sedative but can be easily aroused when stimulated.

Pet owners frequently request sedation for their animals during travel, thunderstorms, fireworks, etc. Sedation is not without risk and each animal should be assessed prior to using or dispensing these medications.

General anesthesia

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A general anesthetic results in a loss of consciousness and sensation to the body. The general anesthetic procedure involves several steps beginning with the administration of a sedative, followed by an intravenous injection of an anesthetic which renders the animal unconscious. Then, a breathing tube is placed into the trachea. An anesthetic gas is then delivered in combination with oxygen to the animal via the breathing tube to maintain the state of unconsciousness.

Although general anesthetics are significantly safer than they have been in the past, there is still the remote chance of an anesthetic complication. We recommend a complete physical examination and a blood test prior to an anesthetic to help identify any potential risks. A preanesthetic blood test provides additional information on the health status of the internal organs of your animal. Of special importance are kidney and liver functions, since these two organs are responsible for the metabolism of the anesthetic. Malfunction of these organs can have deleterious effects on the anesthetic recovery of your animal.

Local Anesthesia

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A local anesthetic causes a loss of sensation to a ‘local’ area. Small surgical or diagnostic procedures may only require a local anesthetic. A biopsy is a common diagnostic procedure where local anesthetic can be used to control pain. A biopsy involves surgical removal of a small portion of tissue.