Anesthesia & Sedation
There are some situations where your pet will need general anesthesia or sedation while under our care (dental services, surgical procedures, some anxious or fearful patients for exams or to perform medical diagnostics).
Anesthesia is a temporary loss of consciousness, where your pet’s level of consciousness is controlled, so they don’t feel pain and don’t move.
Appropriately administered general anesthesia entails extremely low risk for the patient. This is a result of a combination of pre-anesthetic assessment (including physical exams, blood tests, and any additional medical diagnostics- ultrasounds, radiographs) and our belief in a multimodal strategy. We use several classes of analgesic agents, which minimize the depth of general anesthesia required). Plus, we also use modern anesthetic monitoring equipment. Many patients are awake and standing within 15 – 20 minutes of completing the procedure and may go home the same day. Our team is fully trained to confidently assess and monitor your pet’s well-being and pain during these procedures.
- Prior to administering any medications, your pet’s medical record will be extensively reviewed (bloodwork, radiographs, and general health history). They will receive an exam from each member of our surgical team. During this part of your pet’s exam, their vital signs are taken, along with listening to their heart and respiratory system.
- After your pet’s pre-anesthetic exam, the veterinarian and the lead surgical technician will formulate an appropriate medication protocol (pre and post-anesthetic medications and any pain management).
- While your pet is under anesthesia, they will be monitored closely by your veterinarian and your pet’s anesthesia technician with state-of-the-art monitoring equipment.
- The entire surgical team will closely monitor your pet’s vital signs and pain level. This will allow the team to make adjustments to your pet’s anesthesia as your pet’s needs change.
- After your pet’s procedure, they will be moved to a recovery suite, where they will be monitored one-on-one (with a recovery nurse) until they are fully awake, breathing on their own, and swallowing.
Some sedatives also provide analgesia (pain relief). Among these are several short-acting drugs, which have reversal agents that quickly bring an animal back to an alert state. An example is Dexdomitor and Torbugesic, which are used as a sedative and analgesic in dogs. They are used for minor procedures that do not require full general anesthesia, such as orthopedic radiographs and minor wound/laceration repairs. The medication is given IV (into the vein) or IM (into the muscle). The animal is allowed to rest for 10 – 20 minutes while the drug takes effect. Once the procedure is done, the animal is given a reversal, antisedan, which reverses the effects of Dexdomitor/Torbugesic. Antisedan is given into the muscle, and generally, your pet is awake in 10 – 20 minutes. Injectable sedation is a safe and effective means of treatment, and when administered and monitored by trained and knowledgeable staff, many adverse side effects are limited.