Anaesthesia and your pet

All sorts of different animals come into WellPet Vets for a variety of reasons and many of these animals need to be anaesthetised.

What is an anaesthetic?

An Anaesthetic is when your pet is given specific medications that allow us to perform veterinary procedures to your pet without pain. Your pet is essentially “asleep” and unable to feel pain or consciously recognise what is happening to them. This therefore allows your vet to perform procedures such as surgeries, radiographs (x-rays), dental work and ultrasounds for example.

How is it performed?

Anaesthetics on pets are conducted in much the same way as they are in people. After a full physical exam is performed and any pre anaesthetic testing is complete, an intravenous line is placed in your pets leg and an injectable anaesthetic administered. This is then followed by intubation (the placing of a breathing tube into the airway) and connected to an anaesthetic machine. This machine delivers to your pet a continuous flow or measures anaesthetic and oxygen as your pet breathes in and out through a special circuit.

Do anaesthetics have risks?

Generally, anaesthetics are safe, however, giving any medication carries a risk. Anaesthetic medications lower the heart rate, lower the pets ability to breath consciously, lower the blood pressure and stop the pet from being able to regulate their own body temperature (they get cold easily).

How we perform Anaesthetics at WellPet

All pets at WellPet Vets are always very closely monitored. We use state of the art equipment such as a Cardell Monitor and Bair Huggers. These machines help us measure and control your pets body response to the anaesthetic and provide us with early warning signs when things are not quite right.

A Qualified anaesthetic nurse remains by your pets side at all times and charts all the different parameters throughout the surgery or procedure. The tinniest change in any of these parameters and we will know. This early detection can allow for adjustments in anaesthetic or indicate that we need to administer medications to correct heart rate or blood pressure. We can also give them extra breaths or breathe for them if necessary to help with oxygenation.

The Cardell Monitor

… is a machine that allows us to monitor your pets heart rate, respiratory rate, oxygenation, blood pressure and temperature every second of the anaesthetic. It also allows us to place an ECG (electrocardiogram) onto your pet. This means we can see the electrical conduction in the heart, every second. If the conductions become erratic it can be an early warning sign and we can give preventative medications sooner.

The Bair Hugger

… is a machine that blows warm air around the patient and keeps their body temperature stable. This is very important, as temperature plays a major role in how well a patient recovers. Keeping their temperature stable throughout the procedure means they recover much faster. All our surgical patients are maintained using a Bair Hugger.

How to ensure your pet has a safe anaesthetic?

We recommend that all patients receive intravenous fluids throughout the day of their anaesthetic procedure. This will help with maintaining blood pressure and hydration. Pre-anaesthetic blood testing is also something we recommend. These blood tests give us vital information about your pet’s body and how it is functioning before we administer any kind of anaesthetic medication. So before your pet undergoes an anaesthetic make sure you talk to your Vet about the benefits of screening, fluids and discuss any concerns you may have.

Does your pet require an anaesthesia?

With our state of the art equipment and qualified Vet and Nursing team, you know your pet will receive the best possible care at any of our WellPet hospitals.