Understanding Modern Veterinary Anesthesia
Story Date: 8/14/2013

Tips for Understanding Modern Veterinary Anesthesia



1)    Although it seems that everyone has a friend of a friend who lost a pet under anesthesia, the reality is that the vast majority of pets will come through surgical procedures just fine.

2)    Veterinarians work hard to make sure that your pet is kept warm, safe and secure during any surgery.  Advanced monitoring equipment, new safety items and even the presence of highly trained and skillful veterinary technicians are keys to keeping adverse anesthetic events to a minimum.

3)    Modern surgical monitors allow veterinarians to track a pet’s body temperature, blood pressure, pulse rate, respirations, oxygen saturation and even carbon dioxide levels.  By systematically tracking these vital signs, we can proactively respond to potential issues.

4)    Safety equipment, like warming blankets and even calibrated fluid pumps, are now standard in our veterinary hospital.  In addition, most pets will receive an IV catheter for their procedure.

5)    Even veterinary anesthetic drugs have improved.  New, safer inhalant gases quickly leave the body once they are removed from the breathing circuit and allow a smoother recovery.  Reversible drugs can now allow veterinarians to get your pet out of surgery and the recovery ward and back home to you more quickly.

6)    Finally, it’s important to recognize that the vast majority of veterinarians are not alone in surgery with your pet.  Their team includes skilled and highly trained veterinary technicians and surgical assistants who help monitor your pet and respond to any need.

7)    Ask your veterinarian if you have concerns about your pet’s upcoming surgery.  Please don’t rely on dubious information from the Internet.  Veterinarians are proud of their commitment to your pet’s safety.

8)    Many veterinarians will gladly give you a tour of the surgical suite if you would like…in addition, they can show you how anesthetic protocols are customized to meet your pet’s unique needs.




NC Veterinary Medical Association
1611 Jones Franklin Road, Suite 108
Raleigh, NC 27606-3376
Tel: (800) 446-2862 / (919) 851-5850
Fax: (919) 851-5859
Email: ncvma96@ncvma.org