At Alpine Animal Hospital we follow the AAHA standard of excellence in our anesthetic protocols.
Most procedure require that your pet spend all or part of a day with us. With the exception of water, you will be advised to fast your animal for 12 hours prior to surgery. This fast reduces the risk of anesthesia-induced vomiting and aspiration. In preparation for a procedure you pet will undergo:
A physical exam prior to anesthesia or sedation. This is important to evaluate heart and lungs, and to prepare for any additional anesthetic issues (e.g., brachycephalic or ‘squish-faced’ breeds, or overweight animals present special considerations).
Pre-anesthetic blood work (serum chemistry panel, CBC and coagulation panel) is strongly advised for all animals undergoing anesthesia. This blood work allows evaluation of liver, kidneys,
clotting ability and oxygenation ability. Injectable anesthetic drugs are metabolized by either the liver or the kidneys, so it is important to know if there is any compromise to these
organs. If so, alternate drugs are used.
Based on collected information, your pet's doctor will formulate an anesthetic plan for your pet that takes into consideration the procedure being performed, your pet's age, health status and any other potential complications to insure their safety and long term health.
Depending on the procedure, you pet may undergo a general anesthesia or a basic sedative that will last a short time. All animals undergoing general anesthesia have an intravenous catheter placed and are supported by intravenous fluids during the procedure. General anesthesia can lower blood pressure, which in turn can damage organs. Fluids help maintain adequate blood pressure. The catheter also allows immediate access to a vein for administration of anesthetic drugs and other medications, including antibiotics.
During general anesthesia, the patient is monitored continuously by a Certified Veterinary Technician. These technicians are specifically trained in anesthesia, and keep records of the animal’s vital signs, including heart rate, blood pressure, ECG, body temperature and oxygenation. This monitoring allows rapid adjustment of the anesthetic protocol to maintain both an appropriate level of anesthesia and appropriate patient condition.
Once the procedure is completed, the patient is moved to the intensive care area of our hospital. These cages are in the central treatment area of the hospital and allow for constant monitoring by doctors and technicians. Most animals return home from procedures the same day and are given discharge instructions that include a pain management plan, details regarding home care and recommendations for follow up care.