At some point in your furry friend’s life, he may need a procedure or surgery to maintain her excellent health. Surgery requires anesthesia, which is meticulously administered and monitored by our veterinary staff. Understanding the basics about how anesthesia will be used in surgery will alleviate any concerns while your pet is under our care.

At the Animal Clinic of Billings, we treat every pet according to its specific medical and surgical needs. We adhere to strict guidelines for administering anesthesia before, during, and, if necessary, after surgery.

Why Would Your Pet Need Anesthesia?

Anesthesia is necessary when a procedure requires your pet to be immobilized or if the procedure will cause pain or distress that is beyond what the animal can comfortably tolerate. We want you to feel comfortable with our hospital, staff, and assure you our veterinary team is here to answer questions and make the procedure easier for you and your pet.

Because cats and dogs have specific needs, it is vital that veterinary anesthesia protocols are followed properly to prepare your pet for surgery.

At the Animal Clinic of Billings, ensuring your pet is in optimal health before surgery is a top priority, and your veterinarian will always recommend diagnostic testing before the procedure to make sure we have a complete snapshot of your pet’s health.

What to Expect With Anesthesia

Anesthesia is very safe when the patients are stabilized before the procedure. The surgical team members will have a comprehensive understanding of the pet’s medical condition before surgery. There is always some risk of using anesthesia. However, the risk is minimal when administered by a highly skilled veterinarian and surgical team.

Your veterinarian will provide specific instructions before your pet receives anesthesia or undergoes any surgical procedure. Your veterinarian will also discuss the risks of veterinary anesthesia.

Things to keep in mind before the surgery:

  • Fasting is required the night before surgery
  • Follow all directions provided by your veterinarian
  • Depending on the procedure and your pet’s condition, your veterinarian might recommend prescription pain medications while your pet recovers
  • Feel free to ask questions and voice your concerns. Our veterinary staff is happy to address your questions and ease your mind before or after the surgery is performed

Anesthetic Monitoring and Safety

The veterinary surgical team vigilantly monitors your pet during and after surgery, and throughout the time they are under the influence of sedation. Precision anesthesia and cardiovascular monitoring are essential aspects of every operation we perform. Anesthesia is individualized for your pet based on several factors, which include the type of procedure, pre-existing conditions, blood test values, age, breed, and prior anesthetic experience.

The more precise the anesthesia, the fewer side effects, and the faster the recovery. During anesthesia and surgery, your pet is continuously monitored by a trained veterinary technician, using our advanced monitoring system. This system continually monitors your pet’s arterial oxygen level, blood pressure, heart rate, respiratory rate, and core body temperature.

We focus on achieving the best and safest outcome for your pet. You can rest assured that they will receive the highest and most compassionate surgical care and anesthetic administration.

The risk of anesthesia is very low, and when your pet comes out of surgery, the veterinary staff will continue to do the following:

  • Monitor heart rate, body temperature, blood pressure, oxygen levels, and carbon dioxide output levels
  • Keep an IV catheter attached to provide fluid support if there are any fluctuations in blood pressure
  • Make sure your pet is breathing and resting comfortably

What to Expect When Your Pet Comes Out of Anesthesia

Recovery depends upon the length of the procedure, the age of the animal, and the amount of pain medication needed to keep your pet free from postoperative pain.

The veterinary team at the Animal Clinic of Billings will continue to monitor the patient’s vital signs, heart rate, and blood pressure until your pet is ready to return home. Before leaving, you will receive specific instructions on caring for your pet, including a pain management plan. 

Follow all instructions provided by your veterinary team to ensure your pet’s full recovery. Don’t be alarmed if your pet appears groggy and does not have an appetite for a period after being discharged. If you have concerns, call the Animal Clinic of Billings immediately.

Some things to keep in mind after the surgery:

  • It’s normal for your pet to be sleepy or disoriented for a few hours 
  • Your pet may sleep deeper or longer due to the sedating effects of anesthesia
  • Review with your veterinarian any feeding and comfort tips, depending on the type of anesthetic used, and the surgical procedure performed

Contact us you have questions about your pet’s recovery.