Anesthesia is used to control your pet's level of consciousness so they don't feel pain
and don't move. Most of us have some anxiety about anesthesia but it is important to
realize this is the safest and most humane way to maintain your pet’s health at this time.
Anesthesia for animals has come a long way and is safer than it ever was before, and a
well-trained veterinary team further reduces your pet's risk.
Like any medical procedure, anesthesia does have risks. Most anesthetic
complications are minor and with proper monitoring and a proper response can be
quickly resolved. Life changing anesthetic complications are thankfully very rare. The
risks of anesthesia should always be considered along with the benefits, and the risks
and benefits of any alternatives to anesthesia should also be considered.
Prior to receiving anesthesia, your veterinarian will perform a thorough physical exam
on your pet, review your pet’s medical history and discuss any risk factors.
Your veterinarian may also perform blood tests on your pet to check for any indications
of a developing medical problem or anesthetic risk. We require pre-anesthetic
bloodwork for senior pets and recommend it for all pets.
Prior to anesthesia, your pet will be given a pre-anesthetic sedative to reduce their
stress and ease the process. An intravenous catheter will be placed to allow
administration of fluids and medications.
While under anesthesia, your pet will receive monitoring and care comparable to what
you would receive if you underwent anesthesia. All anesthesia performed at our hospital
is under the direct and constant supervision of your veterinarian. This will include
intravenous fluids to support your pet's circulation and blood pressure. An endotracheal
tube will be inserted into your pet's trachea (windpipe) to deliver the anesthetic gas and
provide oxygen to your pet's lungs. We use warming blankets and a heated table to
prevent hypothermia (low body temperature). Pulse oximetry will measure the
oxygenation of your pet's blood. Throughout the procedure we will monitor blood
pressure, temperature and electrocardiography (ECG, also called EKG) to monitor your
Once the procedure is done and it's time for your pet to wake up from anesthesia, your
pet will be placed in a quiet kennel to recover under close observation. Pets are closely
monitored during this time to make sure that they are recovering normally and that care
is provided quickly if there are any problems. Pads and blankets are used to keep your
pet warm and comfortable during the recovery. The endotracheal tube is removed when
your pet is awake enough to swallow normally. Fluids and/or medications may be
continued through recovery, if deemed necessary. Depending on the procedure and
your pet's medical condition, he or she may be sent home later in the day (once
adequately recovered from anesthesia). Under very rare circumstances if your pet is
having difficulty after anesthesia they may be transferred to an emergency hospital for
overnight care and monitoring.
Please ask one of our veterinary technicians or veterinarians if you have any questions
about anesthetic monitoring and safety here at Evergreen Animal Hospital.
Evergreen Animal Hospital
6225 Wollochet Dr. NW
Gig Harbor, WA 98335
Phone: (253) 851-9195 Email: [email protected]
Monday 8:00am - 6:00pm
Tuesday 8:00am - 7:00pm
Wednesday 8:00am - 6:00pm
Thursday 8:00am - 7:00pm
Friday 8:00am - 6:00pm