Although general anesthetics are significantly safer than they have been in the past, there is still the remote chance of an anesthetic reaction. There are many ways to reduce the risk associated with anaesthesia and at Blue Cross Animal Hospital we take every precaution.
Before an Anesthetic
A complete physical exam prior to beginning the anesthetic allows us to assess the heart, lungs and general state of the patient. To be sure your pet has the ability to metabolize the drugs through their liver and kidneys we recommend blood testing prior to the anesthetic for all pets over seven years of age.
During general anesthesia, our patients receive human and digital monitoring of heart rate, respiratory rate, blood pressure and blood oxygen levels. A circulating hot water blanket is used to keep pets warm during surgery as heat loss is a major side effect of anesthetic. They also receive intravenous fluids administered by an individually calibrated fluid pump. Fluids maintain the blood pressure to assure that the blood supply to the organs is sufficient to clear the anesthetic drugs. The IV catheter that delivers the fluids also allows us immediate access in the event of an emergency. All of the pet’s vital signs are recorded in their medical record.
While the pet is recovering they are wrapped in blankets and are given an external heat source to keep them warm. Their breathing, heart rate, and level of consciousness are monitored closely. If any pain is suspected, pain control medications are topped up. Only when they can swallow is the breathing tube removed. When they can sit up on their own they are returned to their cages and watched closely by an animal care attendant.