Anesthesia: Why It

When someone undergoes surgery, usually some form of anesthesia is used to alleviate the pain. Just like humans, animals also need anesthesia to reduce the pain during surgical procedures. Animals can’t tell us if they feel pain, but we know pain exists. Anesthesia is essential in surgical operations because it ensures a safe procedure. If an animal were to move due to pain, the doctor would not be able to perform a safe procedure. Anesthesia can be thought of as a short nap for your pet, which helps them safely through a surgical procedure.

Pre-Anesthetic Testing: Its Importance In Surgery

Anesthetics used in animal hospitals are exceptionally safe. However, potential risk can occur if your pet is not healthy. In order to minimize this risk, we require that each pet’s health status be checked before placing him or her under anesthesia. We check the health status of your pet by completing a detailed physical exam and running multiple tests on your pet to guarantee a safe surgery. It is imperative that these tests are taken because it’s impossible to tell if your pet is sick just by physical appearance. As stated earlier, your pet cannot verbally tell you if he or she feels sick. In order to gain a better understanding of a pet’s health health we need to run these additional tests: Blood chemistry, CBC (Complete Blood Cell Count), Urinalysis, Electrolytes and Thyroid Levels. In younger pets we run just a blood chemistry and a CBC (Complete Blood Cell Count) profile, while in older pets we also check thyroid levels, urinalysis and electrolytes for a more comprehensive testing of your pet’s health. In summary, a pet’s health status must be checked prior to anesthesia to minimize any potential risks and to make you and your pet’s experience as worry-free as possible.

Preparation and Recovery

There are just a few provisions that must be followed prior to anesthesia. Your pet should not receive any food for 8 to 12 hours before anesthesia. Water should be made available for your pet before leaving the house. Any stressful activities should be avoided before the day of surgery. If you have any further questions pertaining to preparation for anesthesia, please contact our clinic. Recovery from anesthesia relies on various factors such as the type of anesthesia used and amount of medication given before the surgery. Recovery could be as short as fifteen minutes or as long as several hours. Ask your veterinarian how long the expected recovery may take. Again, if you have any questions regarding anesthesia, preparation or recovery please call our animal hospital and speak with one of the doctors or technicians.