What to Know About Pet Surgery and Anesthesia

Having a pet go into surgery can be extremely worrisome for any pet owner, especially because anesthesia is often involved. While most pets don’t usually suffer any adverse effects from anesthesia because protocols are in place to ensure the type and amount of sedative is customized per patient, there are risks that a pet owner needs to be aware of when pet surgery is called for.

This guide will help you understand more about the risks of pet surgery and anesthesia, so you can be as informed as possible before your pet goes under.

pet surgery and anesthesia

How Risky Is Using Anesthesia on a Pet?

Approximately 1 in 100,000 pets that are placed under anesthesia suffer a reaction. The type of reaction can be either mild, such as mild swelling at the injection site; or severe, such as anaphylactic shock. Rare side effects include blood clotting disorders, kidney, liver, or heart failure, eyesight problems, and seizures.

Veterinarians perform thorough pre-anesthesia examinations to ensure the pet is suitable for the anesthesia before it is administered. This involves a review of the pet’s complete medical history, including any past surgeries and how the pet has reacted to anesthesia in the past. Other tests will include blood tests, chest x-ray, and an electrocardiogram.

How Your Vet Determines That Your Pet Is Ready for Anesthesia

Certain health conditions can also make anesthesia riskier for a pet. These include:

If the vet determines that your pet can safely be put under, then you will be required to fast her for the 12 hours before the procedure.

What Happens When a Pet Is Put Under Anesthesia?

The pet is made comfortable and an IV catheter is inserted so that fluids, medications, and the anesthesia can be administered. Older patients may also require a catheter.

Once the fluids are flowing through the IV, a sedative like midazolam is injected into the IV line. Midazolam assists the induction of the anesthesia, and improves its effectiveness during the surgery.

While your pet is undergoing her procedure, her vital signs will be carefully monitored by the surgeon’s staff. When the produce is finished, midazolam will be administered to the patient again to help her ease out of anesthesia.

Post-Surgical Recommendations

Depending on the surgical procedure being performed, your pet will either remain in the hospital to recover or you will be able to take her home once she’s fully awake. Since she will be in pain, the veterinarian will usually prescribe a pain medication. This drug will not only help your pet feel better, but it will also help her heal and recover quicker.

Your pet should be kept comfortable and away from other pets in the home during recovery, and it’s important to make sure she has easy access to clean water and food. It will take a while for the anesthesia to get out of her system, so she may appear dizzy or disoriented. Try to prevent her from walking around until she’s fully awake and cognizant. Lastly, take her back to the vet for her follow-up appointment so the vet can monitor her progress.

If your pet requires post-surgical medications, you can get the prescriptions compounded and filled by Diamondback Drugs in easy-to-administer formulations. Our formulations are pet-friendly and tasty to dogs and cats, which can make administering them to your pet much easier, especially when she’s still in pain and recovering from her surgery. Get a free quote today!

Author: Giano Panzarella