It’s natural to worry when your pet undergoes surgery. Many pet owners’ fears center on anesthesia, but such concerns are unwarranted. Although anesthesia can never be completely free of risk, today’s modern anesthetics make that risk very small.
The same anesthetics that allow complicated surgeries such as heart and kidney transplants to be done on humans are used in pets. Even very frail animals can usually be anesthetized safely. In general, the risks from not performing a needed procedure, such as a dental cleaning or tumor removal, are much higher than the risk from the anesthesia.
We use pre-operative blood tests and radiographs (X-rays) to help us determine whether a procedure will be safe for your pet before it is performed. We require pre-operative blood screening for all pets. Even young and apparently healthy animals can have serious organ dysfunction which is not evident without testing. Chest X-rays are taken if there is any suspicion of heart or lung disease or cancer.
During anesthesia your pet will be monitored closely for blood oxygen levels, heart rate, ECG, blood pressure, and CO2 levels throughout the surgery. IV fluids will also be given to ensure organs are not compromised during your pet’s surgery. Two technicians are dedicated to monitoring your pet’s condition.
Under the care and monitoring we provide, your pet should go home after anesthesia just as perky and healthy (even healthier!) as when they arrived at the hospital, whether they are 6 months or more than 6 years of age.
If you have further concerns about anesthesia in your pet, we would be happy to discuss the risks and benefits of any procedure and to explain the exact protocol that will be used.
Please call us with any remaining questions or concerns!