For some procedures, your pet will need to be administered general anesthesia so that he or she will be unconscious and not feel pain. Many pet owners worry about their pets being administered general anesthesia. Modern anesthesia is generally quite safe, and to further lower any risk, we perform a physical examination and may recommend running blood tests ahead of time to catch any underlying health issues. In addition, we follow a specific anesthetic protocol, including IV fluid therapy and monitoring vital signs (see below) during the procedure, to ensure the safety of our patients.
We begin most general anesthetic procedures by administering a sedative to help the pet relax and decrease any anxiety and pain. We then administer an intravenous drug to provide complete anesthesia and place an endotracheal tube into the patient’s trachea. To maintain the state of unconsciousness, we deliver a gas anesthetic (isoflurane) in combination with oxygen through the breathing tube. Local and regional anesthesia is often used in combination with general anesthesia. Recovery from general anesthesia is generally rapid and uncomplicated in small animals.