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General anaesthesia for pets: an overview

  • We only use the latest safest anaesthetic techniques for all our animal patients. Modern anaesthetic agents and techniques ensure safety and comfort.
  • All our vets and nurses regularly attend courses to keep updated on the latest developments in this field.
  • All our anaesthetics are monitored only by fully qualified, experienced Veterinary Nurses*.

* According to a recent survey carried out by the Society of Practicing Veterinary Surgeons, one third of UK practices do not use qualified nurses to monitor anaesthetics.

Further information

What happens on the day your pet comes to the surgery for a general anaesthetic

  • All pets undergoing a general anaesthetic will have a health check by the veterinary surgeon before they are admitted.
  • A ‘Premed’ is then given – this is an injection containing medications that help your pet feel more relaxed and slightly sleepy. Premeds nearly always contain painkilling drugs too.
  • Anaesthesia is induced by injecting medication (Propofol) into the blood stream via a canula.
  • Anaesthesia is maintained by breathing oxygen and anaesthetic gas (Isoflurane) delivered via a tube into the trachea (wind pipe).

When patients are anaesthetised they are kept warm using a special heating blanket (Hot Dog™). The following equipment is used to monitor vital signs:

  1. Pulse oximeter - This measures the oxygen saturation in the blood
  2. Capnograph - This measures the amount of CO2 (carbon dioxide) that is being exhaled
  3. Doppler blood pressure - Blood pressure measurements are taken throughout the anaesthetic
  4. Themometer - Body temperature measurements are taken throughout the anaesthetic

Patients recovering from anaesthesia are always monitored by a Veterinary Nurse or Veterinary Surgeon until they have come round fully.

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