For most routine procedures, the most worrying aspect for the owner is the anaesthetic. We use a variety of agents and equipment, all designed to maximize the safety of an anaesthetic. This includes tailoring pre-medications to individual animals based on their demeanour, procedure and ‘ASA’ (Anaesthetic Safety Assessment); choosing the most appropriate induction agent and then inhalational agent (Isofluorane or Sevofluorane); using the most modern and suitable equipment for maintenance and monitoring; having a range of supportive measures available to enable changing circumstances to be dealt with promptly and efficiently as required, to the best of our ability.
We have a range of anaesthetic circuits and multiple tube sizes, from 2mm to 14mm in diameter and including V-gels for rabbits, and routinely intubate most patients, giving us full control of their respiration. We concentrate our own oxygen, so there is always plenty available – yes, we have emergency cylinders in case of a power cut, however we do not need to rely on these routinely. Once asleep, all patients are continually monitored by a trained member of the nursing team and also by multiparameter machines including O2 and CO2 levels, ECG, blood pressure and temperature, alongside all of the usual respiration, heart and pulse measurements etc etc. They are also almost all supplemented with fluids, O2 and positive pressure ventilation to minimize any complications.
We have a wide range of other supportive medications and equipment to combat potential issues including drugs such as dopamine to stabilize and improve blood pressures in combination with fluids, lidocaine and/or other infusions to provide enhanced analgesia and allow us to use lower inhalational anaesthetic levels and many other tricks.