Anaesthesia and Pain Management

At HVC we take anaesthesia seriously – and we do lots of it! There are many days when we anaesthetise 10-15 canine and feline patients. We are committed to practicing the safest anaesthesia possible for our patients, and fully appreciate the stress and worry having a pet anaesthesia can cause for owners. We have all been there with our own precious pets too! Often we need to employ general anaesthesia or sedation in a “compromised” patient for example a pet with kidney disease, heart disease, a bowel obstruction or hit by a car. Our team is able to apply our advanced skills and equipment in this very important area of veterinary practice to tailor a protocol to these trickier patients, and are therefore we are able to anaesthetise even unwell patients very safely.

Pets scheduled for anaesthesia at HVC are prepared by withholding food, but not water, for a minimum of 8 hours. Pre-anaesthetic assessment can be as simple as a careful examination, but we may also recommend other checks which could alter the planning of the safest anaesthetic protocol for your pet, including blood or urine tests, blood pressure checks or chest x-rays.

During anaesthesia each pet has a dedicated veterinary nurse anaesthetist as well as their attending veterinarian monitoring their vital signs, including blood pressure, and carefully adjusting doses of the different drugs being employed for that patient to maintain body systems within safe parameters. Once they are through to recovery, their nurse will continue to monitor them closely, sitting with the pet where necessary, monitoring comfort and providing gentle reassurance, until they are up and about again.

For the team at HVC, pain management is a subject that is very close to our hearts, and we place a very high priority on this. It really distresses us to think that one of our patients could be suffering potentially treatable pain. The entire team of vets and nurses are trained to recognize and meticulously assess for signs of pain in our patients, and we employ more than 20 different types of pain medications as well as techniques such as massage, ice, stretching and physiotherapy to make our patients as comfortable as possible. Our overall goal is to give every pet the safest, smoothest and most comfortable experience possible during their procedure, and to support and reassure their owners as much as we can through the process. Please ask our vet or give us a call to discuss any concerns or questions you may have about your pet’s anaesthetic.