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Veterinary Anesthesia

Safe & Effective Anesthesia for Surgical & Dental Procedures

We want to make sure every pet is comfortable and feels no pain. All pets that come to Mendon Village Animal Hospital for surgical and dental procedures will be given either general anesthesia or sedation.

For every procedure, no matter how routine, to decrease the chance of complications related to anesthesia, we perform pre-anesthetic blood tests. We follow the AAHA standards for anesthesia, and your pet will be observed at frequent intervals until he or she is fully recovered and ready to go home with you.

Our Monitoring Equipment

Electrocardiogram (also known as ECG or EKG)—This instrument provides a visual tracing of the heart’s electrical activity. From this reading we can tell the patient’s heart rate. A well trained eye can also alert the veterinarian to small changes in the shape of the ECG tracing as well as abnormal rhythms. This allows for early intervention and the chance to prevent a possible complication. This monitor is non-invasive and can be used on sedated and awake animals.

Blood Pressure—This instrument is probably the most important monitor to the veterinary anesthetist. Most importantly it tells us if the vital organs are getting enough blood and the oxygen that it carries. It is very important to maintain good blood pressure throughout the surgical procedure to avoid dysfunction of vital organs. This monitor involves a small cuff wrapped around the leg or tail. Since taking a patient’s blood pressure is non-invasive, we can even use this monitor on patients that are awake or lightly sedated.

Pulse Oximetry—Our “Pulse-ox” helps the anesthetic team assess how much oxygen is circulating in the blood at anytime. Besides giving us a percent of oxygen in the blood, this machine will also verify the patient’s heart rate. This machine is also non-invasive, but works best when clipped (like a clothespin) on a tongue, so animals that are moderately sedated or under general anesthesia tolerate it best.

Capnography (also known as End Tidal CO2)—This machine measures the amount of carbon dioxide that is inhaled and exhaled by the patient. One misconception is that respiration is driven by the lack of oxygen, when in fact respiration is driven by a buildup of carbon dioxide. This instrument gives us information on how our anesthetic machine is working, patient ventilation, cardiac output, pulmonary perfusion and systemic metabolism. ETCO2 is measured by connecting a tiny sensor to the endotracheal (airway) tube, so it is only used when a patient is under general anesthesia.

Warming Units—Hypothermia is one of the most common anesthetic complications. When an animal is under anesthesia they are unable to regulate their body temperature as well as if they were awake. We have several warming units for our patients for use both during the surgical procedure and during recovery. The technicians monitor the patients’ temperature during procedures and recovery and then adjust the warming units.