Dogs need anesthesia for spaying/neutering and other procedures. Our Diamond Bar vets can provide dog anesthesia information to help keep your pet safe during any medical procedure.
In What Situations Is Anesthesia Used?
When your pet undergoes certain veterinary procedures like dentistry, spaying, and neutering, or surgery, they need to be sedated. Anesthesia is a carefully controlled state of unconsciousness that keeps your pet pain-free and prevents any movement during the procedure. Thankfully, even senior pets and generally healthy pets can tolerate anesthesia without issues. The risks associated with anesthesia are usually related to the specific procedure being performed rather than the anesthesia itself.
What Are the Risk Factors of Anesthesia?
Whenever we use anesthetic drugs, there's always a chance of an unpleasant reaction. Dogs who are sedated lose their ability to swallow normally. This can cause vomiting if there is food in the stomach during or after anesthesia. Certain factors like breed, size, health, or age can make some dogs more at risk for anesthesia. Older or very young dogs may also be more vulnerable due to changes or immaturity in their organs or systems.
Anesthetics are responsible for nearly half of all dog deaths within a few hours of surgery. There are always risks when giving any anesthetic medication, regardless of how long the patient is sedated. Edema, which is swelling at the injection site, is a common side effect that can range from mild to severe. Your veterinarian will advise you to fast your dog before anesthesia, which is essential for minimizing risks.
How Can I Reduce the Risk of Anesthesia-Related Complications in My Dog?
Here are some steps you can take to reduce the risk of anesthesia-related complications:
- Let your veterinarian know if your pet has ever reacted to sedation or anesthesia.
- Make sure your veterinarian knows of all medications and supplements (including over-the-counter products) your pet takes.
- Follow your veterinarian's instructions before anesthesia, especially with regards to withholding food, water, and medications.
The diagnostic tests before undergoing anesthesia normally include:
- Chemistry tests to evaluate kidney, liver, and pancreatic function, as well as sugar levels
- A complete blood count (CBC) to rule out blood-related conditions
- Electrolyte tests to ensure your dog isn't dehydrated or suffering from an electrolyte imbalance
In addition to blood tests, your vet might also recommend the following:
- Anesthetic preparation includes the use of a catheter. Anesthetics and intravenous fluids can be administered through the catheter to keep your pet hydrated. Furthermore, in the event of a crisis, it could be used to administer life-saving medications directly.
- Intravenous fluids to help maintain hydration and blood pressure. IV fluids also help your dog with recovery by aiding the liver and kidneys in clearing the body of anesthetic agents more quickly.
These steps are designed to ensure your pet undergoes a successful treatment without any complications arising from the anesthesia.
Why Do I Need to Sign an Anesthetic Consent Form?
Before any anesthetic procedure or surgery for your dog, it's crucial that you fully understand what will happen and the potential risks involved. Your veterinarian will provide you with a form that includes permission for the procedure or test and a cost estimate. To ensure legal compliance, many states require written consent from the dog owner before a veterinarian performs any anesthetic procedures.
Do Vets Monitor an Anesthetized Dog?
Yes, we do! Several practices are in place to make sure your dog doesn't suffer any complications from anesthesia. These include:
- A technician or assistant is present during the anesthetic event to monitor your dog's vital signs and help adjust anesthetic levels, under the veterinarian's direction.
- The heartbeats per minute of your pet are counted with a heart rate monitor. Heart rate can be affected by anesthesia and other factors. Your veterinarian can quickly adjust anesthetics by monitoring your dog's heart rate.
- Your dog's heart rate and rhythm are measured with an electrocardiogram (ECG). It is capable of detecting arrhythmias, or irregular heartbeats. Your veterinarian can adjust your anesthetic if an arrhythmia is discovered.
- If your dog is enduring a lengthy surgical treatment, his core body temperature may be monitored. Body temperature fluctuations might lead to serious problems.
- A blood pressure monitor measures the blood pressure of your dog. It provides detailed information on your pet's cardiovascular state when used in conjunction with other monitoring equipment.
- Pulse oximetry may be used to monitor the amount of oxygen in your dog's blood and her pulse rate.
- Carbon dioxide (CO2) is frequently monitored alongside oxygen because it helps assess if your pet is getting enough oxygen under anesthesia.
How Long Does Anesthesia Last In Dogs?
After receiving anesthesia, many dogs may feel sleepy or tired for about 12 to 24 hours. However, by the time of their discharge, your furry friend should be back to their usual self. If you notice any unusual behavior in your dog or have trouble waking them up after anesthesia, contact your veterinary hospital immediately for guidance. To ensure a fast recovery for your dog after surgery, it's important to follow any post-surgery instructions given by your vet carefully.
Note: The advice provided in this post is intended for informational purposes and does not constitute medical advice regarding pets. For an accurate diagnosis of your pet's condition, please make an appointment with your vet.