Anaesthesia

When a pet is given an anaesthetic it is always a worrying time for owners. We realise this and your pet’s safety is our number one priority.

We ensure this in the following ways.

Prior to anaesthesia we may recommend blood tests to assess how your pet’s organs will cope with the anaesthetic agents.

During the anaesthetic we often support your pet’s organs (ie. liver, kidneys, heart) with a drip (intravenous fluids).

Your pet will be pre-medicated with a sedative and painkiller, chosen individually for your animal, which will ensure that the amount of anaesthetic required is as low (small) as possible.

We use only fast-acting anaesthetics that are out of your pet’s system within minutes (propofol and isoflurane).

If your pet has special medical requirements (ie epileptic or heart conditions) we will alter the anaesthetic as appropriate. We can also use drugs that reduce anxiety if your pet is especially nervous about spending a day at the vets. Qualified vets and veterinary nurses monitor the anaesthetics. The expired anaesthetic gases are scavenged (ie taken away) from the operating environment meaning that your pet (and our staff) won’t be exposed to any extra gas than is necessary.

 

Routine Anaesthesia

A routine anaesthetic will involve:

A sedative and painkiller injected under the skin or into the muscle. Extra drugs such as antibiotics may also be given at this time.

An induction agent (the drug which anaesthetises your pet) administered intravenously (into a vein). A tube (called an endotracheal tube) will then be placed into your pet’s airway. The tube will be attached to a gaseous anaesthetic machine. This will provide oxygen and anaesthetic, ensuring that your pet remains asleep.

Once your pet’s procedure is over the anaesthetic will be turned off and it will be left on oxygen until it has recovered enough for the tube to be removed. This usually only takes a few minutes. After the anaesthetic your pet will be monitored closely to ensure a rapid and safe recovery.

If you have any questions or worries about your pet’s anaesthetic or would like to discuss any of the treatments or tests mentioned, please talk to one of our vets or nurses.