General Anaesthesia in Pets
ADVICE FOR PATIENTS HAVING ANAESTHETIC/SURGICAL PROCEDURES
- Withhold all food from 8:00 pm the previous evening for all dogs and cats.
- Water should be left overnight, especially for older patients or those with kidney problems.
- Rabbits and other small rodents should not be starved before an anaesthetic
- You will be given an admission appointment which is usually first thing in the morning.
- Take dogs out before arrival to allow time for toileting. Ensure dogs are clean and dry
- We ask for dogs to be brought to the surgery on a secure collar and lead and cats in a basket
- Please mention any signs of ill health or other unusual signs to the admitting veterinary surgeon or nurse
- Dogs will need transport to return home and cats are safest in a basket.
- For large heavy dogs a blanket sling may be helpful if stairs or steps are to be negotiated
This can be an ideal time to give routine attention to items such as teeth, ears, nails and anal sacs. When time and safety allows attention can be given to these areas with the benefit of anaesthesia. Sometimes however it will be necessary to allow the patient to recover as quickly as possible. Please discuss this with the veterinary surgeon or nurse on admission.
Having your pet undergo a general anaesthetic can be a worrying time. We have tried to minimise these concerns as much as possible by using the safest anaesthetic agents.
Depending on your pets age and previous history it may be advisable to have a pre-op blood test to check some basic functions and make sure there are no underlying problems which might affect the anaesthetic and procedure being undertaken.
You will be asked to sign a consent form before you leave your pet with us. We will ask you to contact the surgery later in the day to enquire about progress and arrange a time for collection.
Your pet will be weighed, have any necessary blood tests run and be given pre-medication which provides relaxation and pain relief. A small patch of hair is clipped usually on a front leg and a rapid acting intravenous anaesthetic is given into the vein which quickly induces unconsciousness.
An endotracheal tube (breathing tube) is then passed into the airway and anaesthesia maintained with Isofluorane gas and oxygen precisely delivered from the anaesthetic machine.
The surgical site is prepared by clipping hair from over and around the site to prevent contamination during the surgery and thoroughly cleaned and disinfected
Veterinary nurses who have a thorough formal training in anaesthetic techniques will closely monitor the patient throughout and after the procedure.
When the procedure is finished, oxygen is continued until consciousness is regained. The breathing tube is removed and the patient is monitored until fully awake.
On collection you will be given home care instructions along with any medication required and any post operative appointments will be arranged.
With the use of modern anaesthetics, specialised equipment and highly trained nurses, risks are considerably reduced but nevertheless, it should be realised that all anaesthetic techniques and surgical procedures involve some risk to the patient. Problems can occur more frequently in certain breeds, at certain ages and there can be occasional individual allergic reactions. Any disease, infection or toxicity will increase the risks and if suspected should always be mentioned. Obesity will increase the difficulty experienced if any problems arise. During an operation problems can arise due to hemorrhage and surgical shock and will vary with the type of operation and individual susceptibility. Operations may however have to be carried out despite these problems.
All anaesthetics carry some risk to the patient. By using the routine outlined above we endeavor to reduce the risk as much as we can.