Vets Work With Animals and People

What To Know About Pet Anesthesia

If you have a pet, you might need to have medical procedures done on them at some point during their lives. Procedures often require the use of animal anesthesia so the surgery or medical procedure can be carried out safely. It can be concerning to learn your pet may need anesthesia for something like teeth cleaning, but it may help your confidence to know animal anesthesia has a low risk of negative side effects. Here are a few other things to know about pet anesthesia.

Why Anesthesia Is Necessary

Animal anesthesia is necessary for surgery in animals just like it's necessary for surgery in humans. Anesthesia controls pain so your pet doesn't suffer when having an operation. Anesthesia might also be needed to control an anxious pet for certain types of testing or procedures such as dental cleaning. Pets don't understand that they have to remain still, so putting them under with anesthesia is a gentle way to get medical procedures done even when controlling pain isn't necessary.

Anesthesia may also be given to reduce anxiety during a test or procedure. If your pet sleeps through it, they can tolerate the procedure without having to go through excessive stress.

How Anesthesia Is Given

Your pet might have anesthesia administered through an IV, but it's also common for the veterinarian to provide gas anesthesia. This might require putting a tube down your pet's throat and trachea to administer the gas directly into your pet's lungs. When your pet is under anesthesia, they can't feel pain, and they are not conscious of what's going on.

Since your pet might be fearful of the process of going under anesthesia, the vet might give your pet a sedative shot to relax them so they won't be scared or fight when the gas is administered.

What Happens During Recovery

Your pet is placed in a quiet recovery area after having anesthesia. If your pet had a procedure rather than surgery, they might get to go home as soon as they are alert. If your pet had an operation, they may need to stay at the veterinary clinic overnight or longer so they can recover from the surgery a bit before going home.

Either way, your pet will be monitored while the anesthesia wears off to make sure they are okay and not experiencing side effects such as vomiting. Serious side effects from animal anesthesia aren't common, but they're possible. Your pet's veterinarian will answer all your questions and ease your concerns before giving your pet anesthesia so you'll have peace of mind about the experience your pet will go through.