As a pet owner, the first time your furry family member has to undergo surgery can be a frightening experience. Knowing that anesthesia is not without its risks for people, you may wonder what the process entails and what it could mean for your pet. The more you understand about what your pet is going to experience, the easier the process is likely to be for you. Here's a look at what you need to know to ease your fears and help you be prepared for what's ahead.
The Basics Of Anesthesia For Pets
Whether it's to be spayed or neutered, to address an injury, or for other medical reasons, most animals undergo anesthesia and surgery at some point in their lives. It's important to remember that the whole process is going to likely be more traumatic for you emotionally than it is for your pet, because your pet will not be conscious, so they won't be aware of what they are going through.
When it comes to anesthesia for animals, it's usually done with a mixture of anesthetics. That allows for the treatment to be done with low doses of medications while still getting the result that's needed. Once your pet is sedated, it's usually maintained with an inhaled gas that keeps them that way throughout the treatment.
The Steps Your Pet Will Go Through
While there are variations to the procedure based on your pet's condition and the vet's methodology, most animals will go through a fairly standard procedure.
The first step is an initial examination. This is important, because it helps the vet identify any potential problems that could pose a risk for the procedure. The exam will include not only a physical evaluation, but also blood tests to ensure that your pet's vital organs are functioning properly. While this may not identify every potential risk, it does address most of the key ones.
Once your pet has passed the examination, they will be injected with a pre-anesthetic. This is a mild sedative that helps your pet relax and minimizes pain. It's great for easing anxiety and it's designed to work in conjunction with the actual anesthetic to help ensure a successful sedation and surgery.
Once the pre-anesthetic has taken effect, your pet will receive an intravenous catheter. This is used for several things. Initially, it's used to administer an induction that advances the sedation for further treatment. It's then left in place so that the vet can administer fluids during surgery. It's also important for emergency intervention in the event of a problem during the procedure.
Finally, once your pet is fully sedated and catheterized, the vet will place a tube in your pet's airway to ensure that he or she can breathe during surgery. This tube is also vital for the administration of the gas anesthetic which is used to maintain sedation throughout the procedure. During surgery, your pet's vitals will be monitored closely by machines from a place like Keebovet for any changes in respiration, oxygen saturation, pulse, and blood pressure.
The Risks Associated With The Procedure
Despite all of the safety precautions, there are still some risks that you should be aware of. Anesthesia can cause drops in respiration, blood pressure, pulse, and temperature. That's why animals who are placed under anesthesia are monitored so closely. If your pet has an underlying heart condition or other serious problem, it can make the process more dangerous. If you have any concerns about the safety of the anesthesia or your pet's health, make sure you express that early in the process so your vet can look into it.
Your vet can also help with tips to ensure a successful recovery for your pet when you bring them home.