What to expect when your pet undergoes anaesthesia

We often have to give your pet a general anaesthetic for performing surgical procedures like neutering or procedures they wouldn’t tolerate having done whilst awake, like teeth cleaning and dental extractions.

In general, when your pet comes to us for one of these procedures, they will be examined by the vet and then given a ‘premedication’ which is usually a sedative and pain relief combination which relaxes them and allows for a smoother anaesthetic. Once they are sleepy, we then give them an injection in the vein of the general anaesthetic which makes them fully unconscious and unable to feel pain.  We then put an endotracheal tube into their trachea via their mouth so they can be given constant oxygen and gaseous anaesthetic to keep them asleep. Once the procedure is complete, your pet is monitored closely as they wake up from their anaesthetic.

Like people, our pets can feel quite groggy and spaced out after anaesthesia which can last for 24-48 hours. Occasionally, they may also vocalise, whine and or have mild gastrointestinal signs such as diarrhoea, vomiting or constipation.  Our discharge nurses will always give you thorough instructions of after-care to give at home and we always have vets on call 24 hours a day for advice.

Sedation and local anaesthetic

Some procedures that are less painful can be performed under sedation which might include x-rays or stitching superficial wounds.

We often use local anaesthetic alongside sedation and general anaesthesia to provide extra pain relief during and after the procedure.

Modern medicine and monitoring

We are proud to offer the following:

  • Modern intravenous and inhalation (gas) anaesthetics and pain relief.
  • We tailor each anaesthetic protocol to the individual according to their requirements and that of the procedure.
  • Our surgeons are able to give epidural anaesthesia when carrying out orthopaedic procedures to maximise comfort for your pet post operatively.
  • Our anaesthetised patients are closely monitored by fully qualified Royal Veterinary Nurses or student nurses working under their supervision.
  • We offer pre-operative bloodwork to all patients.  This can be run in-house which means we get rapid results and can formulate the safest anaesthesia protocol for your pet on the day.
  • We have a multitude of monitoring equipment including multi-parameter monitors that allow us to assess heart rate and rhythm, blood pressure, capnography and breathing meaning your pet is kept safe during anaesthesia.