The Lowdown on Pet Anesthetics


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The ultimate goal of a veterinarian while administering inhaled and injected anesthetic agents is common: reducing the awareness of pain and discomfort for the dog so that the necessary procedure could be accomplished without too much stress to the animal. It is obvious that the doctor would need the patient to be immobile during surgery.Further, certain diagnostic procedures like CT scans and radiography are also dependent on anesthesia for accuracy and data collection. If the dog is not absolutely relaxed, comfortable and immobile, it would be difficult to carry out important surgical and diagnostic procedures.

Before Anesthesia

Prior to administering anesthesia to your pet, the veterinarian will go through the complete medical history of the animal including any current ailments. This serves as valuable information in analyzing the physical condition of the pet. For instance, an inability to undertake physical exercise might be indicative of abnormal lung or heart function and this is a critical consideration in the planning of any anesthetic procedure. If abnormalities of the lungs or heart are revealed in a physical examination, then the vet may have to perform additional tests like a chest x-ray, ECG (electrocardiogram) or a heart ultrasound before administering general anesthesia.Your vet may also recommend pre-anesthetic blood tests for your pet. These tests help reveal any problems that might require prior attention (tired kidneys, mild dehydration etc.) Such problems could lead to anesthetic problems and need to be addressed first.

Pre-Med Injection

Before administering anesthesia, certain blood tests are done for the animal. These act as a guide for the vet who then decides on the pre-med injectionโ€™s drugs and dosage. This injection is part pain-relief and part sedative and helps in reducing the quantity of anesthetic required. It also lends greater stability to the procedure. When the pet surgery is highly painful, additional pain relief is provided at this point for preventing the onset of pain.

Advancements in Pet Anesthesia

According to modern day veterinarians, the first big revolution in pet anesthesia came when certain blood tests began to be performed before the procedure to ensure the safety of the animal. The second major revolution was patient monitoring with instruments like a pulse oximeter. This device is used for checking the blood oxygen levels and the heart rate of the patient. Sometimes ECGs are also used for checking heart parameters as another level of security monitoring.Pet owners need to give up on the false idea that it is age alone which decides whether an anesthetic-required surgical procedure should be considered or not. It is actually the overall health status of the animal, evaluated on the basis of various pre-anesthetic tests that helps decide the suitability of the procedure.

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