Tiny patients also have more issues with anesthesia.Anesthetized humans and animals appear to be sleeping, but there’s a lot more going on.For example, testing often reveals that cats with heart murmurs suffer from hypertrophic cardiomyopathy, a thickening of the heart muscle that impedes its ability to pump blood.
She also refers pets that have had a prior adverse reaction to anesthesia.“In my practice, we recently had to cut a procedure short because a dog’s blood pressure dropped, and we were having trouble keeping it in a safe range, despite our best efforts,” says Fraser.An IV drip keeps pets hydrated and gives veterinarians an easy portal to administer other drugs should an animal need them.Tufts vets administer pain relievers in addition to anesthetic drugs.When people undergo surgery, there’s an anesthesiologist in the OR whose only job is to manage the patient on the table.
In veterinary medicine, dental care and some surgeries are usually done by a general practitioner, who also oversees the anesthesia.
“They really cannot be treated like other dogs,” says Karas, who calls bulldogs the Goldilocks of veterinary anesthesia—“they demand that the depth of unconsciousness be just right,” she says.
“If they are too sleepy, they may not be able to breathe.
To lessen pre-procedure stress, Tufts patients are given a sedative and a pain reliever before anesthesia is administered.
Once the animal is relaxed, the anesthesiologist or a supervised veterinary technician will insert an intravenous catheter and inject a drug, often propofol, a short-acting anesthetic also used in human medicine, to render the pet unconscious.
Certain breeds also benefit from highly customized anesthesia.