As previously mentioned, general anaesthetics are not without an element of risk. But where a general anaesthetic is necessary, we can minimise the risk to your pet by careful examination beforehand, together with a knowledge of any existing conditions they may have and the results of any pre-anaesthetic blood testing. These allow us to tailor an anaesthetic regime that is most suitable for your pet.
Where abnormalities are known to exist, it is possible to give supportive therapy for the duration of the anaesthetic - for example, intravenous fluids for older pets or pets with known kidney insufficiency - and/or change the anaesthetics used to minimise stress on the abnormal organs. In the event that severe abnormalities are detected prior to the planned administration of an anaesthetic, the risk to the patient versus the benefit of the procedure must be weighed up. In this circumstance, no further action would be taken without lengthy consultation with the pet's owner.
During a general anaesthetic, each animal is carefully monitored and a detailed record is kept of administered anaesthetics and the patient's vital signs. We monitor breathing rate, heart rate and concentration of oxygen in the blood via special monitors.
The information from these monitors allows us to determine the patient's level of anaesthesia, and make appropriate adjustments to the drugs being given where necessary.
If you have any further queries regarding any of the information we have presented here, or you are concerned about your pet having an anaesthetic, please contact the clinic and we can discuss any of these matters with you further.