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Most pets will undergo anesthesia at least one point in lives. For example, anesthesia is commonly administered when dogs and cats are spayed or neutered, and it is also used given prior to dental cleanings. If your pet is schedule for a surgical procedure or diagnostic imaging, in all likelihood your pet will be receiving anesthesia prior to this procedure. If your pet needs anesthesia, it is natural to be worried about what to expect and wonder how best to prepare. After all, most of us are anxious about being placed under anesthesia ourselves! Anesthesia for animals is safer than ever and our experienced Studio City, Los Angeles, CA emergency veterinary care team is here to ensure the entire process is handled with the utmost care and professionalism.
Like all medical procedures, anesthesia is not without risks, although these risks are typically very low. In rare cases, pets may experience mild vomiting or other minor problems. In more serious cases, a life-threatening problem such as cardiac arrest or stroke could occur. While anesthesia-related deaths are extremely rare, complications can occur. Complications may occur, for example, if an undiagnosed health condition interferes with the ability to safely administer anesthesia. For this reason, our veterinary care team will conduct a blood work test prior to administering an anesthesia. In general, however, the risks of not moving forward with a surgery or diagnostic procedure are far greater than the risk of any complications from anesthesia. In some cases, your pet’s health may truly depend on our ability to perform life-saving surgery!
Before administering anesthesia, our veterinarians will conduct a full physical diagnostic exam, discuss your pet’s medical history, and perform blood tests to check for any risk factors that could complicate the safe administration of anesthesia. Our veterinary care team will discuss the entire procedure in detail so you know exactly what to expect and how best to prepare. Before a surgical procedure involving anesthesia, we generally recommend restricting food 12 hours in advance. Since most procedures are scheduled for the morning, this means it is okay to feed your pet the night before, but you will need to withhold food in the morning.
An intravenous catheter is typically placed to allow the flow of fluids and medications; in some cases, we may give your pet a mild sedative that will help reduce your pet’s initial stress before the procedure. While your pet is under anesthesia, we continually monitor your pet’s vital signs. This includes blood pressure monitoring, temperature monitoring, and ECG (electrocardiography) monitoring for your pet’s heart.
Once the procedure is complete, your pet will be transferred to a quiet space for monitoring and recovery. We keep a close watch on your pet to ensure he or she is recovering normally. Once your pet’s condition is stabilized, you will be able to take your pet home. Keep in mind that your pet may be a little groggy still for the next 12 to 24 hours; this is completely normal!
For more information on pet anesthesia, please contact our Studio City emergency veterinary team today at (818) 760-3882.