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Anesthesia Risk Management

An old Golden Retriever is getting anesthesia before surgery.  One of the veterinarians is placing their hands over the dogs eyes on a medical table.

How we minimize risk for anesthesia

Since we perform surgery and dentistry daily on patients of all sizes and ages, we want to limit risks and practice anesthesia as safely as possible. If we are recommending a procedure, we believe the benefit outweighs the risks involved. Listed are a few of the things we do tomake anesthesia as safe as possible for your pet.

  • Complete physical exam where we also review medications to avoid drug interaction.

  • Labwork – blood and sometimes urine sampling to review major organ functions

  • In some cases, chest X-rays to ensure the heart and lungs are healthy enough to handleanesthesia

  • Intravenous (IV) catheter and fluid therapy throughout the procedure—to maintain normalblood pressure and hydration. If medications are needed during the procedure, they are given directly into the bloodstream

  • Balanced anesthesia:

    • Premedication—sedatives and pain medication given to readyyour pet for anesthesia by relaxing them. This reduces theamount of any one drug used. These are given several hoursbefore or the night before the procedure

    • Oxygen is administered for several minutes prior to theprocedure

    • Reversal of medications if necessary

  • Protection of the airway (intubation)

  • Ventilator used for breathing and gas exchange in the lungs

  • Nurse dedicated to monitoring the patient the entire time the patient is asleep (blood pressure, EKG, oxygen levels, temperature)

  • Patients are kept warm during and after procedure

  • Vital signs are checked during recovery

  • Patients are kept as pain-free as possible. This might include regional nerve blocks with Novocain or similar medication prior to surgical or dental work starting.