pet safety during surgery and procedures

feline illness and cat sickness

Modern anesthesia is very safe.

In fact, the risk of losing a pet under anesthesia is less than 1%. The risk of an adverse event while undergoing a spay, neuter, dental or other non-emergency surgery is extremely low, but this risk can be affected by the anesthetic drugs used and how well the patient is monitored during and after anesthesia.

This is where the real difference between one hospital and the next is found. Because this happens when the client isn’t around, it can make judging the hospital difficult.

It often comes down to trust.

Can you imagine an anesthesiologist in a human hospital using ether or chloroform in the 21st century?

Of course not. Surprisingly, there are no standards of care for veterinary anesthesia or surgery and some clinics are still using out-of-date techniques and medications for anesthesia.

anesthesia at vet office animal hospital

The following are just a few of the steps we follow for each surgery or dental procedure.

This list is a good guideline to use to ask questions about surgical procedures when considering any hospital for your pet:

• Complete physical exam by a doctor before every surgery

• Blood work is best on all patients but required on those over seven years of age.

• Intravenous fluids used throughout every surgery and dental procedure to maintain normal blood pressure

• Multiple forms of pain control

• Every pet is intubated to protect the airway

Anesthesia for Dogs and Cats at Vet Clinic

Most importantly, a personal anesthesia nurse should be present throughout surgery and recovery. They should never leave your pet’s side until the pet is completely awake.

The following minimum parameters monitored throughout surgery:

  • Heart rate
  • EKG
  • Respiratory rate
  • Carbon dioxide levels in the blood
  • Oxygen levels in the blood
  • Blood Pressure
  • Safe warming devices used during surgery (no heating pads!)
  • Both pain and anti-inflammatory medications sent home after surgery
  • Printed take home and recovery instructions with questions answered by the doctor before the pet is released

Don’t hesitate to ask for clarification or more explanation for any of the items listed, such as intubation, IV fluids or monitoring parameters. We are happy to answer questions!

We take safety seriously. There is a difference between how hospitals treat Anesthesia.
Ask careful questions before making your choice.


Pre and Post Surgery Information - Click to View & Save

Anesthesia during surgery for Pets