The majority of dogs don’t have problems if an anaesthetic is used. However, like all medical procedures in people and dogs, there are always risks.
The issues can be minor: mild vomiting, feeling a little dazed, and perhaps a bit sore, depending on what was done. The more serious (and potentially life-threatening) problems can include: strokes and cardiac arrest.
Fatalities caused by anaesthetic are rare. However, the veterinary team will take all proper precautions to keep your beloved pet safe and make sure that he can cope with being anaesthetised. In an emergency situation where your dog’s life is at risk, the vet will quickly decide that the possible risks of using an anaesthetic are minimal when compared to not operating.
Before having an anaesthetic.
Your vet will discuss all the possible ramifications that the use of anaesthetic may cause. He’ll conduct a thorough physical and review your pet’s medical history before talking to you about any risk factors regarding the anaesthetic and the surgical procedure itself.
Your vet may conduct blood tests to determine if there are any unforeseen risks or developing medical problems as a result of putting your beloved pet to sleep. If you have questions about any aspect of the process, ask the vet beforehand.
Prior to the vet applying the anaesthesia, he’ll usually calm your dog and make the process run more smoothly by giving the dog a pre- anaesthetic sedative. He’ll also apply an intravenous catheter so he can give his patient medication and fluids. Anaesthetic can be delivered intravenously, through the inhalation of gas, or a combination of both.
While your dog is in the hands of the veterinary expert, he’ll receive the care and close monitoring of vital signs, in much the same way as people when they’re under an anaesthetic.
The care and monitoring processes may include:
• Intravenous fluids and/or medications to ensure blood pressure and circulation remain stable.
• Monitoring blood pressure to keep it within a safe range.
• The insertion of a tube down your pet’s trachea (windpipe) so oxygen and anaesthetic gas can be delivered.
• Measuring your pet’s oxygen levels in his blood through the use of a pulse oximetry.
• Monitoring temperature and using warming blankets so your pet’s body temperature doesn’t drop too low (leading to possible hypothermia).
• Monitoring his heart by using EKG and ECG machines.
After your vet has finished, your pet will be placed in a semi-dark, quite kennel or cage until he recovers. During this period, pets are closely monitored to ensure their recovery happens without any problems. They’re also on hand if a problem occurs. They use blankets and pads to keep him warm while he’s recovering because it’s common for a dog to start shivering as they recover.
However, the shivering won’t always be due to your pet being cold. It’s merely one temporary side effect, as is barking or whining. Once your pet is awake and can swallow normally, the throat tube is taken out. Depending on how well he handles the anaesthetic and/or the procedure itself, medications and fluids may also be needed.
Your pet may be brought home later the same day or perhaps the next day, depending on how well the procedure went and his recovery process.
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