These forms of anesthesia involve the use of injectable local anesthetic agents such as lidocaine and bupivicaine. If your pet is having a minor surgical or diagnostic procedure performed, we sometimes use a local anesthetic to help control pain. For example, when we perform a biopsy, we often use a local anesthetic. Local anesthetics cause a loss of sensation in the area where the procedure is being performed. We sometimes use a sedative in combination with the local anesthetic to keep pets calm during a procedure. Topical local anesthetics are also used on the eye when corneal ulcers need to be debrided.
Regional anesthesia also uses local anesthetic agents, but the freezing targets specific nerve bundles and so provides loss of sensation a larger area or region. The kinds of regional blocks used most commonly in our practice are lumbar spinal epidurals for hind leg orthopedic procedures, ring blocks around distal legs to remove spear grass embedded deep into the paw, coxygeal blocks for tail amputations and in cats with urinary obstructions. Most dental procedures which require dental extractions also use regional blocks. These allow us to reduce the depth of gas anesthesia during dental procedures and provide pain control after the procedure is done.