General anesthesia is required for many of our patients during surgical, dental and other medical procedures. Many owners have questions or concerns about the safety of anesthesia for their pets. While there are certain risks inherent with anesthesia, these risks can be minimized with proper screening, mindful selection of anesthetic agents and careful monitoring, all of which we provide at Timpanogos Animal Hospital.
We require blood work on all patients no more than two weeks before any procedure requiring anesthesia. This way, we reduce the risk of adverse reactions to anesthesia, as this testing detects changes in the body that may affect a pet’s ability to metabolize certain drugs. All patients also receive a physical examination by a veterinarian the day of the anesthesia. Healthy pets are good candidates for anesthesia regardless of age—even older pets do very well under general anesthesia when it’s used with proper pre-surgical screening.
Timpanogos Animal Hospital’s staff routinely monitors blood pressure, pulse oximetry (oxygen carried in the blood), the heart’s electrical activity through EKG (electrocardiogram), body temperature, heart and respiratory rate and carbon dioxide production (exhaled CO2) whenever a pet is under general anesthesia. Before anesthesia, we place an IV catheter to ensure direct access to a vein so we can administer fluids throughout the operation.
For patients requiring full general anesthesia, we use the safest inhaled anesthetics available in veterinary medicine: Sevoflurane and Isoflurane. Every veterinarian and veterinary staff member at Timpanogos Animal Hospital makes it a priority to provide adequate pain management both during and after surgery. When appropriate, we employ epidural anesthesia and local and regional nerve blocks to reduce the amount of anesthesia needed during procedures.
For more information about Timpanogos Animal Hospital’s anesthesia and monitoring services during surgical operations, give us a call at 801-406-9443.