Anesthesia and Patient Monitoring
When choosing a hospital for your pet to have surgery, one of the main considerations you should have is their approach to anesthetic and patient monitoring. At Point Grey Veterinary Hospital we use the highest quality anesthetic and monitoring equipment alongside our Registered Veterinary Technicians to ensure the safest anesthesia for your pet.
At our hospital, pre-anesthetic blood tests, physical exam, and urinalysis are recommended by the doctor to evaluate your pet’s health status before a general anesthetic is performed. Once the doctor approves your pet for surgery, an anesthetic protocol is chosen specific to your animal’s health, age, and temperament.
If travel, thunder, or fireworks upset your pet, he or she may benefit from tranquilization or sedation. While sedated, the animal will stay awake or sleep lightly but can be roused when stimulated. To minimize any potential risk associated with tranquilization or sedation, we need to assess each animal individually before we dispense these medications.
We monitor your pet’s vital sign throughout anesthesia. We can do this by monitoring: Heart rate, respiratory rate, SPO2 (oxygen level in the blood), & blood pressure. We are also able to perform ECGs (electrocardiogram) as needed.
For most 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. We can assure you that modern anesthesia is generally quite safe; to further lower any risk, we recommend performing pre-anesthetic blood work to catch any underlying health issues. In addition, we follow a specific anesthetic protocol, including monitoring vital signs during the procedure, to ensure the safety of our patients.
We begin most general anesthetic procedures by administering a sedative to help your pet relax and decrease any anxiety and pain. We then administer an intravenous drug to provide complete anesthesia and place a breathing tube into the patient’s trachea (windpipe). To maintain the state of unconsciousness, we deliver a gas anesthetic in combination with oxygen through the breathing tube.
If your pet is having a minor surgical or diagnostic procedure performed, we sometimes will choose to use a local anesthetic instead of general anesthesia. Examples of procedures done under local anesthetic include biopsies (in which a small portion of tissue is surgically removed so it can be examined) and removal of small uncomplicated lumps. Local anesthetics cause a loss of sensation in the area where the procedure is being performed. Often, a sedative and/or anxiolytic (anti-anxiety medication) will be used in combination with the local anesthetic to keep pets calm during the procedure.