How We Protect Your Pet During Anesthesia

Most pet owners feel a great deal of concern when their furry companion must undergo a procedure requiring anesthesia. Because of their owners’ anesthetic-related worries, some pets do not receive all veterinary-recommended care. As a result, these pets may experience a lesser quality of life, or endure chronic pain or disease.

Our Woodinville Veterinary Hospital and Mobile Services team understands that pet owners’ concerns come from a place of deep love, and we know they are likely unaware of our investment in and commitment to providing the safest and most advanced anesthetic care. Follow us to the treatment room, and observe the protective measures we take to ensure your pet has an uneventful anesthetic procedure. 

Preanesthetic examination and diagnostics for pets

Anesthetic safety measuresa comprehensive physical examination and blood workbegin weeks before the anesthetic procedure. In addition, our team often performs other testing such as an electrocardiogram (ECG) or advanced imaging (e.g., X-rays, computed tomography, magnetic resonance imaging). All preanesthetic diagnostics enable our Woodinville Veterinary Hospital and Mobile Services team to ensure your pet is healthy enough for anesthesia. In addition, our team uses your pet’s test results to plan your furry pal’s procedure and design a customized anesthetic protocol (e.g., your pet’s specific medications, dosages, and supplemental care such as preoxygenation, fluid therapy, blood glucose monitoring) to suit your four-legged friend’s age, health, and procedure. Acquiring your pet’s detailed health information before their procedure allows us to minimize their amount of time under anesthesia, anticipate and address potential issues, and ensure a smooth and safe anesthesia experience.

Customized anesthetic protocols for every pet

Your pet’s health is as unique as their personality, and we ensure each patient is given a personalized anesthetic protocol based on the most current research. Using your pet’s examination report, diagnostic test results, health status, and anesthetic history, your veterinarian selects the anesthetic medications, dosages, and administration routes (e.g., intravenous, intramuscular, subcutaneous, oral) best suited to maintaining your pet’s safety. Our Woodinville Veterinary Hospital and Mobile Services team strives to create balanced anesthesia, ensuring each protocol includes the safest sedation and analgesia (i.e., pain relief) combination. These medications work synergistically, enabling us to use a lower dose of each and a lower inhalant anesthesia percentage, while helping your pet attain their most comfortable and consistent anesthetic depth.

Secure airway and venous access for pets

Although anesthesia is incredibly safe, no procedure or treatment is without risk. Therefore, we take every precaution to ensure we are completely prepared to handle an unexpected emergency by securing access to your pet’s airway and circulatory system.

After your pet receives their initial preanesthetic medications, our team places an intravenous catheter (IVC) in their front or back leg. The IVC provides instantaneous access to your pet’s general circulation, delivering medications and therapeutic fluids. 

Once our team induces anesthesia and your pet is relaxed, we place a stiff but pliable endotracheal (ET) tube in their trachea to establish consistent anesthesia and oxygen delivery, and prevent involuntary airway collapse. The ET tube also protects against aspiration (i.e., stomach contents entering the lungs during anesthesia). 

Hands-on and electronic monitoring for pets

Our team continuously monitors your pet during anesthesia, and we never leave your beloved companion unattended. Each patient is connected to state-of-the-art electronic monitoring equipment, and has a dedicated veterinary technician who measures and tracks their vital signs. If your pet’s status is trending or suddenly heading in the wrong direction, their dedicated veterinary technician alerts the veterinarian immediately. Our team tracks the following vitals: 

  • Blood oxygen saturation 
  • Heart rate
  • Heart rhythm
  • Respiratory rate
  • Temperature
  • Blood pressure

Gentle heat support for pets

Anesthesia slows the body’s metabolism, lowering the core temperature. An additional factor that contributes to the lowering of a patient’s body temperature is having an open body cavity during surgery. Pets who are small or thin and have little body fat also have an increased hypothermia risk. Hypothermia can lead to poor ventilation, heart arrhythmias, prolonged clotting times, and a delayed recovery.

Because of these potential issues, our Woodinville Veterinary Hospital and Mobile Services team monitors and records an anesthetized patient’s body temperature every five minutes.  As needed, an anesthetized pet receives gentle heat support that is designed exclusively for veterinary patients, including warm water-circulating blankets, heated air circulators, warm towels, and a heated surgery table. 

Dedicated recovery team for pets

Our anesthesia safety protocol continues after the anesthesia is stopped. Pets’ postanesthetic recovery period can be an especially sensitive and dangerous time as their bodies metabolize or breathe off any lingering anesthetic, and attempt to resume normal function. To minimize patient risk, our team maintains a one-on-one patient-to-caregiver ratio until the pet is extubated, alert, and able to maintain their body temperature. To minimize a patient’s confusion or panic risk as they return to full consciousness, our team also provides them with a quiet, low-stimuli recovery area. After your pet is fully awake and comfortable, your veterinarian or technician will contact you with an update on your beloved companion’s health status, and schedule a discharge appointment.

Our Woodinville Veterinary Hospital and Mobile Services team prioritizes anesthesia safety and recognizes pet owners’ concerns. Our team members treat each pet as if they are their own, ensuring your furry friend’s safety and comfort at every step. Do not allow your anesthetic worries to prevent your pet from receiving the care they need. If you have additional questions or concerns, contact our team and learn how we can further customize the anesthesia experience to reduce your pet’s —and your—anxiety.

By |2023-03-20T22:32:03+00:00March 11th, 2023|Uncategorized|0 Comments

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