We will adapt our anaesthetic protocols to your pet to ensure any procedure is as safe as possible with the smoothest recovery.

Here at the practice, we might need to give your pet sedation or anaesthesia for a variety of reasons, for example:

  • Neutering
  • Dentistry
  • To take x-rays
  • If your pet is anxious or aggressive, and we cannot properly or safely examine them when awake

We perform general anaesthetics (G.A.s) and sedation every week day and regard it as routine, but we appreciate that as an owner, your animal may never have had an anaesthetic before and you will understandably have questions and concerns. Hopefully this page will answer those worries, but you can always talk to us in the practice too!

At Hanson’s our anaesthetics use what we feel is the safest combination of drugs available for your pets, and we will tailor the protocol used based on their specific needs.

How to prepare your pet for an anaesthetic-

We will always advise if there are any specific considerations for your pet so we would advise a veterinary check-up prior to the day your pet is admitted. Beyond this the key things to remember are:-

  • Dogs and cats should be fasted from 9pm the night before an anaesthetic. This means that they have had no food for 12 hours before admission. It is fine to give your pet access to water all through the night and the following morning. This reduces the risk of your animal vomiting under anaesthetic, which is a very serious complication, as vomited material can enter the airways and cause pneumonia. If you pet has had access to food, we will delay your pet’s procedure to avoid this risk.
  • Rabbits, guinea pigs and small furries should be offered food and water as usual and we recommend that you bring some food and their water bottle with you in the morning.
  • Please give you dog a chance to go to the toilet. If they are able, it is a good idea to take them on a short walk before they come in for the day. They may be quite sleepy when they go home and should be somewhere quiet and warm so probably won’t want a walk that evening.
  • Avoid muddy walks in the days leading up to their procedure. It is also a good idea to give them a bath a few couple of days before.

What happens on the day?

You will have a pre-operation appointment with a vet or nurse. This is an opportunity for you to ask any questions, make sure you understand the procedure and any possible costs and complications. We will discuss whether you would like pre-anaesthetic blood test and will perform a health check to make sure we are happy to go ahead with the procedure. Please be aware there is an additional charge for the blood test.

Why would we perform a blood test? The blood test gives indicators of any underlying damage to your pet’s kidneys and liver that we may not be able to see outwardly. These are the organs that deal with removing the anaesthetic drugs from the body. We also checks for any signs of anaemia or low protein levels that might affect the doses of anaesthetic required. It is a beneficial check for all pets but we strongly recommend it for ill animals and pets over 8 years age so that we can make the best choices for your pet’s care. If we find that there are changes on the test we will phone you to advise if they need fluids or further treatment before it would be safe to continue. Once we have admitted your pet for their procedure, and given them their check up and possible blood test, we will administer a pre-med. This is an injection with a combination of a sedative agent to relax your pet, and pain relief, which is always more effective if given before an operation.

When the pre-med has had time to work, we will then give a second injection called an induction. This is the injection that makes your pet fall asleep. As soon as they lose consciousness, we then place an endotracheal tube into your animal’s windpipe and connect this to a mixture of oxygen and anaesthetic gas to maintain your pet under G.A.

A nurse is constantly supervising your pet’s vital signs until they are fully conscious again, and they will notify the vet preforming the procedure if they have any concerns. Your pet will continue being monitored at regular intervals on recovery until their collection.

At admission, we ask that you call us at a pre-arranged time. This is when we expect to have finished your pet’s procedure and give you a report on their progress, as well as a likely discharge time. At discharge we will give you detailed instructions on post-op care, including any medications for you to use following the operation, and schedule check-ups to ensure your pet’s recovery and healing are as expected.