Anesthesia and Pain Management
Your Pet is an Individual
When your pet is admitted for a surgical or dental procedure its anesthetic drug protocol will be based on its physical exam, history, and blood tests. This allows us to use the most appropriate anesthetic drugs for your pet based on their medical history and the procedure being performed.
Blood Work and Laboratory Tests
For your pet’s safety, blood work to test organ function and complete blood cell counts is often necessary before undergoing general anesthesia. Additional testing such as urinanalysis, EKG, ultrasound or x-rays may be necessary in more involved cases or patients with high risk.
Pre-medicate drugs are first administered which may include a mild sedative and pain medication. This allows your pet to be relaxed before anesthesia is induced, and decreases the amount of induction agent required. This makes the experience as stress-free as possible.
Intravenous Catheters and Fluid Support
Intravenous catheters are placed in all patients undergoing general anesthesia. This allows us direct access to their circulatory system during the procedure and a route to administer any medications needed. IV fluids are also administered to your pet to keep them hydrated and help combat low blood pressure which can be a side effect of general anesthesia.
Safer, Modern Anesthetic Drugs
We have a wide range of anesthetic drugs available for use in your pet, the same ones found in human hospitals! They are fast acting and allow us to titrate the exact levels of medication needed for your pet. All animals are intubated (a tube is placed in their windpipe) to allow complete control of their airway, and are maintained on the safest inhalant anesthetic gas with oxygen. Recovery is smooth and with routine outpatient procedures (such as spay or neuter) your pet will be ready to leave by that evening.
Monitoring Under Anesthesia
While your pet is under general anesthesia, their vital signs will be continually monitored and charted by one of our veterinary technicians. We utilize state-of-the-art anesthetic monitors which tell us information on the patient’s heart rate, EKG, and blood oxygenation level. The technician also monitors the depth of anesthesia, respiratory rate, and temperature.
After the procedure is complete your pet is monitored until they are awake in the recovery area of our treatment room. Heating support is provided as needed to keep the patients warm. You will be called as soon as your pet is in recovery to inform you that the procedure is complete and your pet is waking up from anesthesia.
Analgesia / Pain Management
Pain and discomfort unfortunately come along with surgical procedures but several measures are taken to reduce or eliminate it. We have a wide range of pain medications, which are more effective and longer lasting than previous options available. Pain medication is administered before the procedure to prevent pain before it starts. This is then followed up post-operatively and most pets are sent home with oral pain medication for you to give at home. Our patients’ comfort and health are our top priority!
With the use of pain medications patients are often sleepy during the evening following the procedure. Resting comfortably and quietly is important while they heal.
Pain management is aggressively practiced not only on patients that are undergoing surgical procedures, but in other situations as well. Cancer pain, osteoarthritis/degenerative joint disease, and other conditions cause discomfort and we are here to make them as comfortable as possible! Ask our doctors about the multimodal pain management options we have available for your pet. We maintain a full pharmacy of medications as well as nutraceuticals and prescription diets.