General anesthesia is the process of using injectable medications and inhaled gases to produce a temporary medically induced state of unconsciousness thereby allowing otherwise stressful or uncomfortable procedures to be performed without the patient being aware or feeling any discomfort or anxiety.
Pictured: Monitoring equipment used during anesthetic procedures
General anesthesia is performed by inserting a breathing tube into the patient’s trachea (intubate). Gas anesthetic agents mixed with 100% oxygen are delivered into the airways and lungs. Since most anesthetic gases do not provide significant pain relief, injectable narcotics and similar drugs are also used during medical procedures that may otherwise be painful or uncomfortable.
All anesthetized patients at Savannah Veterinary Internal Medicine & Intensive Care are constantly monitored by a dedicated registered veterinary technician and are never left unattended.
Patients under anesthesia are connected to an anesthetic monitoring machine which records the vital signs, including body temperature, respiratory rate, carbon dioxide of the patient’s exhaled breath, oxygen levels of the blood, ECG and blood pressure. The technician anesthetist controls the amount of anesthetic gases that are delivered to the patient based upon these parameters and the required depth of anesthesia for the procedure being performed.
In addition to monitoring, all of our patients under general anesthesia in our care have an intravenous catheter in place and are given intravenous fluids during the procedure to support blood pressure, kidney function and other bodily requirements
Even though we use only the newest and safest anesthetic techniques, and monitor our patients with the very latest state-of-the-art anesthetic monitoring equipment, we understand that many owners have concerns about their pet undergoing anesthesia. We encourage you to discuss these concerns with one of our internists or registered veterinary technicians so that we can assure you that great care, skill, and attention is provided to this very important procedure.