General Anesthesia

A general anesthetic results in a loss of consciousness in the animal and a loss of sensation throughout the body. Most general anesthetic procedures involve several steps beginning with the administration of a sedative. An intravenous injection of an anesthetic renders the animal unconscious while a breathing tube is placed into the animal’s trachea. A gas anesthetic (Isoflurane) is delivered in combination with oxygen to the animal via the breathing tube to maintain the state of unconsciousness.

Although general anesthetics are significantly safer than they have been in the past, there is still the remote chance of an anesthetic reaction. There are many ways to reduce the risk associated with anesthesia including a physical examination and blood work prior to anesthesia. Having an intravenous catheter placed to administer intravenous fluids during general anaesthesia is important to help prevent drops in blood pressure and to be able to administer life saving medications in the rare event of an anaesthetic reaction. Anesthetic monitoring equipment and protocol can also contribute to a safer anesthesia by allowing us to identify small changes in respiration, heart rate or blood pressure and to easily reverse these changes before they become a problem.

We strongly encourage that all of our general anesthesia patients receive pre-operative blood work and intra-operative intravenous fluids. Please give us a call if you have any questions about your pet and general anaesthesia.