VCA West Los Angeles Animal Hospital offers a variety of anesthesia services for your pet. We have a board-certified anesthesiologist on staff and a dedicated team of trained technicians to help monitor our patients that are under anesthesia. The term anesthesia indicates the use of medication to block sensation, typically resulting in unconsciousness. Anesthesia is induced using a variety of medications, both injectable and inhaled. It is used for procedures that require an unconscious animal, such as surgery, certain imaging studies (e.g., x-rays, MRI, CT scans) or medical procedures (e.g., endoscopy).
Pets undergoing anesthesia are typically pre-medicated with an injectable drug. This pre-medication helps the pet relax so that full anesthesia can be induced more smoothly and safely. Next, the pet receives intravenous medication to cause loss of consciousness. A tube is then placed into the pet's upper airway, and gas anesthesia keeps the pet comfortably anesthetized during the course of the procedure.
While a patient is under anesthesia, he or she will be monitored in much the same way as a human undergoing anesthesia would be. This monitoring includes listening to your pet's heart and lungs, visually assessing your pet's reflexes, and using equipment to monitor your pet's blood pressure, level of blood oxygen, and temperature. Your pet will also likely be monitored using an ECG machine. Trained technicians act alongside veterinarians to ensure that your pet's procedure goes smoothly.