Primary Care


The term anesthesia indicates the use of medication to block pain, awareness, and sensation - typically also resulting in unconsciousness. Anesthesia is achieved 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., dental prophylaxis, endoscopy). Our hospital offers an individualized anesthetic protocol for each of our patients.

Pets undergoing anesthesia are typically pre-medicated with one or more injectable drugs. This pre-medication helps the pet relax so that full anesthesia can be induced smoothly, safely, and with minimal patient stress. Next, the pet receives an induction dose of intravenous medication to cause loss of consciousness. An endotracheal tube is then placed to protect the pet's upper airway, as well as deliver oxygen and gas anesthesia. The gas anesthesia keeps the pet comfortably anesthetized for the duration of the procedure.

Trained veterinary assistants and/or certified veterinary technicians act alongside our veterinarians to ensure that your pet's anesthetic procedure goes smoothly. While a patient is under anesthesia, he or she will be monitored in much the same way as a human undergoing anesthesia. 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 vitals, blood pressure, heart rhythm, carbon dioxide and oxygen levels, and temperature. Our trained staff will also be closely monitoring your pet during their recovery to ensure they remain warm, comfortable, and that all monitoring parameters are normal until your pet is fully conscious and awake.