Anesthesia is an integral part of all surgeries and some medical procedures, such as teeth cleaning.
All of our patients that require anesthetic are monitored from induction through recovery by a licensed veterinary technician. We also have the patient connected to a surgical monitor. This gives us a visual and audible reading of pulse rate, respiratory rate, body temperature and oxygen level.
To help further reduce the risks of anesthesia, we also offer presurgical blood work. This blood work evaluates the liver and kidneys as well as the hydration status and red blood cell count of the patient. It is important because the liver and kidneys are the main organs responsible for filtering the anesthetic drugs out of the body. If they are not functioning properly they increase the risk of anesthesia by making it more difficult for the body to clear the drugs out of the bloodstream. In addition, if the patient is dehydrated or anemic (does not have enough circulating red blood cells) it increases the risk of poor oxygenation of the heart and tissues.
For those cases in which there is a question regarding heart function, we also offer presurgical cardiac workups including radiographs and EKGs. In some instances, we may recommend a cardiac echogram by a veterinary cardiologist prior to anesthesia to further evaluate cardiac function and the heart’s ability to handle the anesthetic drugs.
We have several options for anesthetic for each patient, and your veterinarian will use her expertise and results from the presurgical blood work to decide which one is the best one for your pet’s individual case.