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|05-30-2009, 07:44 AM||#1|
Furbutts = LOVE
Join Date: Jan 2005
Location: Phoenix, AZ
Blog Entries: 2
One of the biggest concerns for many pet owners is having their pet undergo anesthesia. Though any anesthesia involves risks, there are anesthesia protocols that are generally considered very safe. The best way to position your pet for the optimal outcome is to learn about your Vet's anesthesia protocol and make sure that their practices meet your expectations.
Preferably, animals should have Pre-op bloodwork performed to assess whether the pet has any underlying issues that would increase the risk of anesthesia. In advance of the surgery, it is recommended that a CBC and chem panel is performed as this should offer a robust picture of a pet's ability to handle anesthesia. If your animal already has a recent history of healthy bloodwork, some vets will recommend forgoing the pre-op bloodwork. If the blood panel shows abnormal liver function, then a Bile Acid test should be considered and surgery should be postponed until this is looked into further. Depending on the animal, some clinics also recommend an EKG (to be sure that the heart rate and rhythm are within normal limits), thyroid testing, and a urinalysis. If your dog is elderly or has health issues, the vet may recommend additional testing.
Questions to Ask
*What kind of gas is used for anesthesia? The gold standard is widely considered to be Isoflurane or Sevoflurane.
*If the pet is to be kept overnight, is there 24 hour care?
*What is the plan for managing pain after the surgery? What if pain worsens?
*Is a heated pad and/or heating blanket used throughout the surgery to maintain the pet's body temperature?
*Is someone other than the vet monitoring the EKG, pulse oximetry, blood pressure etcetera?
*What supplements should I discontinue prior to surgery?
*Does the pet have an IV cathetar placed during surgery does it stay in until the animal is recuperated?
*Are IV fluids running during surgery and afterward while recuperating?
Stages of Anesthesia
Pre-surgery Tranquilizer: Most vets will give the pet a mild sedative prior to surgery to help them relax; they might also start pain meds at this time (pre-emptive analgesia). Once the pet is relaxed enough, an IV catheter should be placed to allow venous access to the patient during and after surgery. The patient will likely be induced, receive IV fluids, and medications through this port.
Induction Phase: After the IV is placed and the pet is ready for surgery, they are "induced" into a heavier sedation, usually using an injectable drug via the IV. This allows the pet to be intubated with an endotracheal tube (a tube placed through mouth and into trachea). For most pets - an injectable drug is used for intubating the pet. However, for some pets with health issues (i.e., liver problems) or aggressive animals, "masking down" with gas anesthetic may be another route for intubation. However, masking down is considered rather controversial and generally not as safe as using an injectable. In any case - if your dog has health issues or is aggressive at the Vet's office - the induction phase is a very important step to discuss in detail with your Vet.
Maintenance Anesthesia: Once the pet is safely intubated, they are given gas anesthetic throughout the surgery. Again, this is usually Isoflurane or Sevoflurane.
IV Fluids should be given throughout the procedure and during recovery. This allows the vet continuous and immediate access to the patient to administer pain meds, antibiotics, sedatives, and life-saving medication - if needed.
DISCLAIMER: All information contained herein is for informational, educational, and awareness purposes only. This should not be considered medical or professional advice, therefore, please discuss all health concerns with a trained, licensed, and qualified professional.
[Thanks to both Ellie May and Kalina82 for helping me edit this post. ]
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