General anaesthesia

My pet needs a general anaesthetic, what can I expect?

Your pet will be seen by a vet or nurse on the morning of the surgery to be checked in and to confirm with you that there are no other health concerns. Your pet will be given a general health check at this point, possibly including a blood screen.

You will then be asked to read and sign a consent form giving permission for us to perform the surgery and agree to the work being carried out. Once your pet is admitted he/she will receive a pre-med and a pre-surgery pain relief ensuring your pet is as pain free as possible when they wake up.

Once the pre-med has had a little time to take effect your pet will be anaesthetised using an induction agent then kept anaesthetised using a gaseous anaesthetic via a breathing tube (exactly the same way human anaesthetics work), your pet is then prepped and shaved if necessary and taken to theatre.

Do I need to starve my pet beforehand?

Dogs and cats need to be starved prior to a general anaesthetic to avoid the risk of vomiting during surgery. Rabbits and smaller animals however must not be starved as they do not vomit and going without food for an extended period is detrimental to their health.

Can my pet walk after an anaesthetic?

Yes, the anaesthetics that we use are gold standard and most pets are up on their feet quite quickly after surgery, we then monitor them to make sure they have eaten and drank and that there are no worries, only letting them return home once we are satisfied they are ok to do so.

What are the risks involved?

With all anaesthetics there is always an element of risk, and these can be higher if the pet is old or has an illness. In order to minimise these risks we offer a pre anaesthetic blood screen to ascertain if there are any underlying conditions you may not be aware of, also your pet is fully monitored throughout the anaesthetic by one of our qualified, registered veterinary nurses (RVN) using monitoring equipment such as a pulse oximeter and endotracheal stethoscope. Your pet is then placed in recovery to wake up and monitored throughout by an RVN. We appreciate this is a worrying time for you and we do our utmost to keep you informed of their progress at all times.