One of the most common questions I hear in practice is “will my pet be safe?” when people bring their pet in for an anesthetic procedure such as a dental cleaning, spay or neuter. Pet parents also often question if their pet will experience pain or be afraid during their visit and procedure. Although procedures vary amongst practices and practice teams, this week I want to give you a little insider info from my practice on what happens when you drop your pet off for an anesthetic procedure.
First, your pet will be under the care and observation of a technician and be weighed and examined by your veterinarian so your pet’s medications can be dosed properly and that your pet does not have any overt medical issues that would halt anesthesia. Next, your pet will have pre-operative bloodwork run, if elected, to screen for any underlying conditions and pain medications administered prior to their procedure to control pain before it happens. If all is normal with your pet’s examination and bloodwork, your pet’s customized anesthetic plan will be administered by a surgical team of technicians and your veterinarian. Your pet will be intubated (a tube placed in their airway to make sure they are breathing and receiving anesthesia) and an intravenous catheter will be placed so your pet can receive fluids to support their blood pressure and give your veterinarian access to a vein for any medications needed. Your pet’s surgical team stays with your pet through their surgical preparation, monitors their vitals during their procedure and helps them recover safely and calmly when their procedure is completed. That same team will watch your pet for any negative effects or signs of pain after the procedure and walk you through at-home care for your pet’s easy and safe recovery.