Anaesthetic and Your Pet
Many pet owners worry unnecessarily about anaesthesia in their pets. Although anaesthesia can never be completely free of risk, today’s modern anaesthetics make that risk very small.
The same anaesthetics that allow complicated surgeries such as heart and kidney transplants to be done on humans are used in pets as well. Even very frail animals can usually be anaesthetised safely. In general, the risks from NOT performing a needed procedure, such as dental cleaning or tumour removal, are much higher than the risk from the anaesthesia.
In addition to a physical examination, we use pre-operative blood tests to help us determine whether a procedure will be safe for your pet before it is performed. We strongly recommend pre-operative blood testing for all pets over the age of seven years before anaesthesia is administered. We also strongly encourage owners of younger animals to have their pet’s blood tested because even young and apparently healthy animals can have serious organ dysfunctions that are not evident without such testing.
Your pet will be monitored closely for blood oxygen levels (pulse oximetry), heart rate, and heart beat intensity throughout the anaesthesia. Monitoring heat beat rhythm using an ECG is optional but recommended. The anaesthesia is always administered by a veterinary surgeon to ensure safety and proper dosing. IV (intravenous) fluids may also be given, especially if kidney or liver function is compromised, to ensure your pet’s full recovery.
With proper care and monitoring, your pet should go home after anaesthesia just as perky and healthy as when he arrived at the centre, whether he or she is 16 months or 16 years of age.
If you have further concerns about anaesthesia in your pet, we would be happy to discuss the risks and benefits of any procedure with you and explain the exact protocol that will be used. Please let us know!