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. Often the more expensive anesthetics are safer to use; however, anesthetics are also chosen for other reasons including their ability to control pain.
Tranquization and Sedation
Tranquilization or sedation is used to calm an animal under various conditions. The animal remains awake or may ‘sleep’ but is easily aroused when stimulated. Sedatives are frequently requested for pets to help calm them during travel, thunderstorms, fireworks, etc. Sedation and tranquilization are used in the clinic for a variety of procedures such as x-rays or ear cleaning when there may be minor discomfort or if your pet is highly anxious or uncooperative. Sedation may also be used along with local anesthetics for minor surgical procedures on pets that are not able to tolerate a general anesthesia. Sedation and tranquilization are not without risk and each patient is fully assessed prior to dispensing these medications or using injectable agents in the clinic.
A general anesthetic induces a loss of consciousness in the animal and a loss of sensation throughout the body. Most general anesthetic procedures involve several steps beginning with the administration of a sedative. An intravenous injection of an anesthetic renders the animal unconscious while a breathing tube is placed into the animal’s trachea. A gas anesthetic is 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 unexpected anesthetic reaction. Our doctors are aware of the risks and treat anesthesia of your pet with the respect it deserves. There are many ways to reduce the risk associated with anesthesia including a thorough physical examination and blood work prior to anesthesia. Anesthetic monitoring equipment and tailoring an anesthetic protocol to fit your pet’s needs contributes to a safer anesthesia.