VETERINARY ANESTHESIA SERVICES
Fifth Avenue Veterinary Specialists offers a variety of animal anesthesia services for your pet..
The term anesthesia is the use of medications to produce unconsciousness, analgesia, and immobility. Anesthesia is induced using a variety of injectable and inhaled medications. Veterinary anesthesia is used for procedures that require an unconscious animal; such as surgery, certain imaging studies (x-rays, MRI, CT scans) or medical procedures.
Before anesthesia, the pet would undergo tests to determine its health status and its impact on anesthesia. This is to better define the degree of risk and we use the scale recommended by the ASA (American Society of Anesthesiologists). Pets are usually restricted from food and water for 12 hours before surgery. Some patients, such as diabetics, have additional requirements.
Pets undergoing anesthesia are typically pre-medicated with an injectable drug including benzodiazepines, opioids, and/or alpha-2 adrenergic agonists. This pre-medication helps the pet relax so that anesthesia can be induced smoothly and safely. Induction drugs include propofol, etomidate, or dissociatives such as ketamine. After the pet receives intravenous medication to cause loss of consciousness, an endotracheal tube is then placed into the pet's upper airway, and gas anesthesia keeps the pet comfortably anesthetized during the course of the procedure. All pets undergoing anesthesia are carefully monitored before, during and after a procedure by our veterinarians and technicians to ensure the best outcome. At Fifth Avenue Veterinary Specialists, our monitoring includes blood pressure, blood oxygen saturation (pulse oximetry), carbon dioxide levels (end-tidal or blood gas values), heart rate, and rate of respiration. We can measure blood pressure through arterial catheters and sample blood gases for our critically ill patients.
For all patients, pain management is a priority! We aim to make the pet as comfortable as possible and to prevent/treat chronic pain. We believe doing this takes extra care but results in our patients returning to normal function sooner. To accomplish this, we incorporate a variety of medication before a procedure begins, practice balanced anesthesia using constant rate infusions of multiple analgesics, and apply local anesthetics such as bupivicaine and lidocaine to selected regions. We offer local anesthesia with morphine and bupivicaine epidurals as well as morphine-only epidural analgesia. We maintain patients on constant rate infusions of pain medications after surgery and then wean them onto oral medications that include multi-modal pain management focusing on the COX pathways, opioid receptors, and NMDA receptors.