Anesthesia Safety

It's understandable to feel anxious about going under anesthesia—whether it's for ourselves or our pets. As part of CPAH's commitment to provide the best health care possible, our safe anesthesia, continuous patient monitoring, patient warmth and patient comfort are all important components of our anesthesia goals for every pet.

Pre-Anesthesia Blood Work

In addition to conducting a thorough exam the morning of your pet’s surgical procedure, we recommend running blood tests to assess internal organ function. This allows us to identify potential problems that may be undetectable on a physical exam and provides valuable baseline data for future comparisons.

Anesthesia Goals

Our anesthesia protocols include:

  • Certified technician with your pet under anesthesia 100% of the time—priceless!
  • Warm, comfortable and pain-free experience during and after the procedure
  • Intravenous fluids for patients undergoing inhalation anesthesia to prevent hypotension and improves circulation
  • Monitoring of:
    • End tidal CO2
    • Blood pressure
    • Pulse oximetry
    • ECG

Anesthesia Monitoring

To help put you at ease, we'd like to introduce you to some of the technologies we use to make anesthesia safe for your pet. Each monitoring system is programmed to detect any small variation from normal parameters, allowing us to monitor trends and quickly respond to changes.

  • End-Tidal CO2 —A machine takes a sample of your pet's exhaled air and analyzes it for carbon dioxide. Lung CO2 levels correlate well to a patient’s blood CO2 levels, so if your pet’s breathing or blood flow is too slow or too shallow, the carbon dioxide reading will rise.
  • Blood pressure —Blood pressure can be monitored by a simple cuff that is placed either on a leg or a tail. Our certified technicians measure systolic, diastolic and mean pressures every few minutes just like what is done for human patients.
  • Pulse Oximeter — A small clip is attached to your pet’s tongue or footpad. The clip uses light waves to measure how much oxygen the blood cells are carrying, which can alert us to issues of poor respiration or poor circulation.
  • Electrocardiogram (ECG) —Three small clips are attached to your pet to give a continuous ECG readout of the heart's electrical activity just as you would see in an operating room for humans.
  • Body Core Temperature —This is especially important for smaller pets because they can lose significant body heat under anesthesia. We use multiple patient warming techniques to maintain an adequate body core temperature in your pet during and after any surgical procedure.

Warming Techniques

Pet Warming
Providing clinical warmth to your pet during and after surgery provides safety and comfort. We provide:

  • Passive warming insulation — A water blanket is connected to a pump that circulates warm water throughout the blanket. The system is placed under all patients during anesthesia to help maintain body temperature. A temperature-controlled warming chamber warms blankets used to cover patients during and after surgical procedures.
  • Active warming systems — Warm forced-air devices are an effective way to manage and prevent heat loss during and after anesthesia. While your pet is under general anesthesia, a special blanket envelopes their body and delivers a continuous gentle flow of warm air.

Pain Management

Pain management is an important component to a successful surgical and recovery experience for your pet.  We've developed guidelines to ensure your pet’s recovery process, whether from illness, surgery or injury, goes as smoothly as possible.

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