Is Anesthesia Safe for My Pet


Fear of anesthesia is often cited as a reason why pet parents hesitate to put their dog or cat under for a procedure. Although risks inherent to anesthesia do exist for veterinary patients, the chance of death from anesthesia is low in healthy cats and dogs undergoing routine elective procedures. The chances of death in healthy cats and dogs are less than 0.1 percent and the chances of death in sick cats and dogs is less than 1.5 percent.

Source: Veterinary Anesthesia and Analgesia Fifth Edition

Source: Veterinary Anesthesia and Analgesia Fifth Edition

A study of cats under anesthesia reported that anesthetic risk decreases with adequate monitoring of the patient’s vitals and blood oxygenation levels. In an effort to minimize risk to our patients, we at NorthStar VETS adhere to current veterinary anesthesia standards by implementing diligent monitoring of patient vitals. Standard monitoring includes pulse rate, blood pressure, respiratory rate, mucous membranes and capillary refill time, temperature, ventilation (measuring exhaled carbon dioxide), blood oxygen levels, and EKGs.

Because anesthetic risk is associated with the health status of patients, we recommend pre-operative bloodwork in our patients to complement the results of our physical examination to better assess our patient’s health status prior to anesthesia. Diagnostic tests sometimes help us identify hidden diseases so you can make an informed decision about your pet’s health.

Source: Veterinary Anesthesia and Analgesia Fifth Edition

Source: Veterinary Anesthesia and Analgesia Fifth Edition

While old age is not a disease, geriatric patients commonly present with additional diseases that can predispose them to anesthetic complications. Many of the patients that come to NorthStar VETS are older and sick. This sub-population of patients therefore will benefit most from a thorough pre-anesthetic diagnostic workup. Surgery and anesthesia doctors and nurses at Northstar VETs benefit from the support of specialists in Surgery, Internal Medicine, Cardiology, Emergency and Critical Care and our residency-trained Anesthesiologist to improve the safety of anesthesia in our higher-risk patient population. We are able to tailor our anesthesia protocols to an individual pet’s needs to ensure the safest anesthetic experience possible.

Learn more about the different services at NorthStar VETS.

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One Response to Is Anesthesia Safe for My Pet

  1. Millie Hue says:

    I like that you pointed out that the animal should be monitored when under anesthesia to ensure that they are safe and treated when risks appear. I will keep this in mind now that we are going to have our own veterinary clinic. We will be buying pieces of equipment and other needed supplies for it and also hire a professional vet once the construction of the establishment is finished. I just decided to invest in this for my future because I am quite an animal lover ever since I was a kid.

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