Anesthesia is a temporary state of altered consciousness to allow for analgesia (pain relief), amnesia (loss of memory), and restraint (extreme muscle relaxation or paralysis). These are necessary to perform various medical, dental, surgical, and imaging procedures safely and comfortably on your pet.

What will my pet experience if he/she needs anesthesia?
At Cambria Animal Medical Center every animal has an individualized anesthetic plan. Your pet’s age, breed, medical history, and current health status are taken into consideration when choosing the appropriate combination of anesthetic drugs, monitoring, and pre-anesthetic evaluation tools. Dr. Suzy will perform a complete physical exam, discuss your pet’s history with you, and run any pre-operative labwork, x-rays, or other diagnostics before your pet’s procedure is scheduled. In addition, every pet is examined again by the doctor on the morning of his/her procedure to be sure that the anesthetic choices are made based on your pet’s current condition. Every pet who is under general anesthesia has an intravenous catheter placed and is administered IV fluids; this helps maintain proper your pet’s blood pressure and also helps your pet recover from the anesthesia as quickly as possible Additionally, we use advanced anesthetic monitoring equipment which continuously monitors your ‘pet’s vital signs, such as heart rate, respiratory rate, EKG, oxygen saturation, and blood pressure, and these vital signs are watched closely by your pet’s veterinarian and veterinary technician throughout his or her procedure.

What are the different types of anesthesia?
At CAMC, we practice “balanced anesthesia,” which involves using a combination of several types of anesthesia in order to maximize your pet’s safety and comfort and to minimize the unwanted side effects of any one drug.

Preemptive analgesia and sedation, often termed a “pre-med,” is a combination of pain medicine and sedation to control pain and anxiety before the sensation of pain is produced. This also allows us to use smaller doses of additional drugs in subsequent steps to minimize the side effects of general anesthesia

Local anesthesia is used to block the sensation of pain in one particular area of the body. This is commonly used in areas of skin for small biopsies or in the mouth when dental extractions are necessary.

General anesthesia is when the patient is unconscious and nerve transmission is inhibited in the brain so that no pain can be perceived anywhere in the body.

What are the side effects of these drugs?
Our team monitors patients closely to address altered respiratory and cardiovascular function right away before they become problematic. Most animals, even geriatric patients, tolerate anesthesia and surgery without complications, but our team of trained staff is able to quickly recognize adverse signs and correct them appropriately.

What is the recovery process?
A team member will call you as soon as possible to update you on the recovery process and schedule an afternoon appointment to go over individualized at-home recovery instructions with you. Every pet recovers in a unique way from anesthesia. Some animals will be fully alert when it is time to go home after a procedure, while others may feel groggy or tired for a few days after aneshtesia. There are a variety of factors influencing the type of recovery, and we will do our best to educate you on what specifically you can expect during the recovery process for your pet.