I recently wrote a blog about the most common conversations I have surrounding pet dental procedures about dental extractions. Another important discussion that comes up when talking about dental procedures is about anesthesia.
The overwhelming majority of pet owners are afraid of anesthesiaand for good reason! It’s serious business. Often the pet owner is afraid because they’ve had a pet die while under or after anesthesia, or they know of someone whose pet died. It’s hard for me to explain why I still want to put their pet under anesthesia for a procedure, despite these fears. I want to try to ease some of those fears.
I believe the biggest reason pets have died under anesthesia is not because of a reaction to drugs, or over-use of medicine, or even health issues. It’s due to poor monitoring and lack of attentiveness. At El Dorado Animal Hospital, the patients are monitored extremely closely, using advanced machines that measure heart rate, respiratory rate, blood oxygen levels, expired carbon dioxide levels, ECG tracings, blood pressure and temperature. The machines are only one part, the patient is also monitored by a dedicated, trained, certified technician who has no other job to do during surgery but monitor the anesthesia. This monitoring helps prevent any anesthetic events that might lead to death. We couple this monitoring with appropriate uses of medications to keep that anesthetic depth just right, and add in supportive medicines and fluids through an intravenous catheter to keep the system going along smoothly.
Another reason pets have died under anesthesia is because of old and outdated anesthetic protocols. Many of these medicines were administered in the muscle, which meant it would take a long time for the medicine to absorb and then be eliminated from the body. Delayed recoveries and death were more common. We use intravenous and inhaled anesthetics that are rapidly eliminated. Many of our patients are wide awake and walking around literally within a few minutes of completing the procedure. Within just a few short hours the medicines are all worn off and the pet is almost normal; it is a very safe form of anesthesia.
Certainly fears of anesthesia are warrantedif we didn’t have a certain amount of caution and respect to using anesthesia the complications would be much higher. But because we are so focused on doing it well and keeping the pet healthy and alive, we have minimized complications and provided a safe experience for your pet. If you have any questions regarding anesthesia at El Dorado Animal Hospital please contact us at 480-837-0800 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
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Fountain Hills, AZ 85268
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