As a pet parent, it only makes sense that you'd be concerned about any medical procedure your pet may need. When anesthesia is involved, there is often even more concern. The good news is that veterinarians have found anesthesia to be perfectly safe for most pets, and it is a common part of many procedures. Below are some important things you should know about anesthesia and pets.
How It's Administered
Before any type of anesthesia is administered, a comprehensive exam is performed to determine the right amount of anesthesia for the animal's weight and existing health issues. The exact method of administration will be decided by the veterinarian, and these methods are more or less the same as when anesthesia is administered to a human. It could be inserted into the veins via an IV drip, breathed in via a facemask, given via a pre-surgery sedative medication, or a combination of a couple of these options.
Potential Side Effects
Just as with human anesthesia, there is always a risk of possible side effects. These include swelling at the injection site, a slowed heart or breathing rate, a decrease in blood pressure or, in extremely rare cases, anaphylactic shock or death. The most common side effect of anesthesia in pets is a sense of disorientation and sleepiness for a few hours after the medication has worn off.
Caring for a Pet Who's Had Anesthesia
Always monitor your pet carefully after you've taken them home and they’re resting comfortably. Limit physical activity to bathroom breaks, and ensure they’re relaxed in a quiet and restful environment. Surgery puts a lot of stress on a pet's small body, so they may feel sluggish or nauseated for a few days after the procedure. You may want to keep a bucket, towels, and cleaning products nearby in case they become ill. Always contact your veterinarian if you’re concerned about any of your pet's post-anesthesia behavior.
After learning some basics of anesthesia, you’ll hopefully feel more confident as your pet goes into surgery. Veterinarian Dr. Carroll F. Williams of the Carolina Veterinary Hospital, P.A. has been providing pet medical care, including pet surgery, to the Lee County, NC, area since 1977. To learn more about the clinic or to schedule an exam, call them at (919) 258-3349, visit their website, or message them on Facebook.