A general anaesthetic results in a loss of consciousness in the animal and a loss of sensation throughout the body. The pet is admitted in the morning between 8:30 and 9:00 am. They are examined and then given a pre-anaesthetic medication which includes a tranquilizer and pain medication. When the pet is sedated, a catheter is placed in their vein and intravenous fluids are started. This ensures we have I.V. access in case any problems develop. Intravenous fluids are given to prevent dehydration, help to maintain blood pressure and to help flush the anaesthetic drugs from the system. All of this contributes to a smooth and speedy recovery. The anaesthetic is induced with an injectable drug, then a tube is placed in their trachea and they are maintained on inhalant anaesthetic for the remainder of the procedure. Blood pressure, heart rate and respiratory function are monitored throughout. The pet is maintained on a heating blanket to help keep them warm during their anaesthetic.
Before the end of surgery they receive an injection of pain medication and more analgesics are sent home for pain control for the first few days after surgery.
The patients are generally sitting up within a few minutes after the anaesthetic, walking within an hour and eating before they are discharged
Although general anaesthetics are significantly safer than they have been in the past, there is still the remote chance of an anaesthetic accident. There are many ways to reduce the risk associated with anaesthesia including a physical examination and blood work prior to anaesthesia. Anaesthetic monitoring equipment and protocol can also contribute to a safer anaesthesia.