Just as with humans, there are always risks when putting an animal under anesthesia. At our hospital, we take extra precautions to minimize those risks. For instance, every anesthetized animal is continuously monitored by one of our knowledgeable and trained technical staff members. This staff member sees the patient throughout the entire anesthetic event, evaluating various reflexes, monitoring response to surgical stimuli, and various vital signs.
In addition, there are several monitoring devices used that measure and record various physiologic levels in the anesthetized patient:
Electrocardiogram measures the electrical activity of the heart
An ultrasonic Doppler allows us to evaluate the patient's systolic blood pressure. Additionally, we use continuous blood pressure monitoring which accesses the patient's diastolic blood pressure and MAP, or mean arterial pressure. Blood pressure is valuable in assessing anesthetic depth as it is one of the first parameters to change as anesthetic depth changes
Pulse oximetery measures heart rate and oxygen content of blood
Carbon dioxide levels are even more valuable than oxygen levels for detecting respiratory abnormalities
Esophageal temperature probes measure core temperature of the anesthetized animal
Pre-anesthetic blood tests helps our doctors to determine if a patient is healthy enough or not to be anesthetized
All of the above monitoring devices are equipped with auditory alarms that alert the surgeon and technical staff member of any changes or abnormal values.
At our hospital, every anesthetic plan is formulated plan for each, individual patient. Drugs used permit immediate, yet safe, anesthesia with minimal cardiovascular and respiratory effects. In fact, many of the drugs we use are also used in human hospitals!