Written by Staff Veterinarian
General anesthesia is necessary to perform procedures such as advanced imaging, surgery or endoscopic procedures. General anesthesia as general rule can be very safe for your pet, with appropriate pre-anesthetic workup, proper monitoring and use of appropriate drugs for each individual patient.
As with people, not every patient is the same and so each patient is managed to make their individual anesthetic experience as comfortable and safe as possible.
When your pet comes to Veterinary Specialty Hospital, we start by performing a thorough physical exam. Depending on the age of your pet and your pet’s current health status, pre-anesthetic blood work will likely be recommended or required to evaluate the function of important organs such as the liver and kidneys, as these organs are especially important for the metabolism and elimination of commonly used drugs. Other diagnostics, such as x-rays, urinalysis, etc. are also sometime indicated.
We want to make each pet’s experience as minimally stressful as possible. Therefore, patients scheduled for surgery will receive medications prior to general anesthesia to help provide pain relief and sedation.
Prior to anesthesia, each patient has their blood pressure evaluated and an EKG performed to evaluate their cardiovascular status. An endotracheal tube (“breathing tube”) is placed into your pet’s airway at the beginning of anesthesia, in order to provide oxygen and inhaled anesthetics during anesthesia, as well as, provide us with the ability to assist breathing in your pet, when necessary. Your pet’s vital signs (heart rate, blood pressure, respiratory rate, oxygen status, ventilation and temperature) are monitored continuously throughout the procedure.
After anesthesia, your pet is provided pain relief when indicated and monitored closely until they are warm and fully awake. Our surgical and anesthesia team includes five Boarded surgeons, several well-trained and educated technicians and often a surgical intern; all working together to provide the safest anesthesia and surgery possible for your pet.
State-of-the-Art Monitoring Equipment
VSH uses state-of-the-art monitoring equipment to evaluate cardiovascular and pulmonary function, utilizes intravenous fluids for maintenance of hydration and cardiovascular support. We provide the most up-to-date preventative and therapeutic pain management for your pet. Our expertise includes anesthetizing patients with intracranial issues, cardiac disease, endocrine disease, kidney and liver failure, trauma, and much more. Each of these situations affects the patient’s body in different ways requiring different types of pet anesthesia and pain management.
Optimal Post-Operative Pain Management
We are dedicated to minimizing anesthetic risk and providing the patient with the most optimal post-operative pain management through the following efforts:
- In-hospital anesthetic case supervision/management
- Anesthesia protocol review and consultation
- Pre, intra and postoperative pain assessment and management
- Continuing education for VSH staff, and outside veterinarians and veterinary technicians
Our staff has been highly-trained in the administration of pet anesthesia and pain management – to learn more or to book an appointment, please send us an email or call us directly at (858) 875-7500 (San Diego office) or (760) 466-0600 (North County office).