Anaesthesia in Dental Procedures
Looking after your pet’s dental health is really important as it reduces the chances of secondary problems such as heart disease, kidney disease and liver disease, as well as stopping the pain and suffering that can be caused by loose and infected teeth.
Many people worry about using anaesthesia for their pets, but modern drugs and techniques for administering anaesthesia is very safe. The risk of death is extremely low- about 1 in 1000 and even then, this is normally associated with animals that are already very unwell and/or are being subject to emergency procedures.
Unlike humans, dogs and cats can’t control their impulse to move while being examined. Anaesthesia therefore allows the vet to perform the examination or procedure without risking harm to the animal and themselves.
We recommend that all patients should have basic pre-anaesthetic blood tests performed to check the blood sugar, kidney values, liver values, and red blood cell count, as well as detect abnormalities that could affect the anaesthesia. Sometimes, more extensive blood work will be required, and even for pets younger than one year.
Yes. Many drugs used for general anesthesia tend to cause blood pressure to decrease and therefore intravenous fluids are used to combat this. If there are any adverse reactions whilst under anaesthesia, an intravenous catheter is used to administer emergency medication.
All animals, especially cats and small dogs, lose a lot of body heat under anaesthesia. The resulting hypothermia can slow the anaesthetic recovery. Where needed, and indeed in most cases, anaesthetized pets should be placed on a recirculating warm water pad and/or under a warm air blanket.
The modern gas anaesthetics we use are Isoflurane and Sevoflurane. Methoxyflurane are no longer used and are considered out-of-date.
We monitor your pet’s physiological parameters while they are under anaesthesia so we cam ensure that the respiratory and cardiovascular systems are functioning well. A nurse will work beside the vet to monitor the heart rate, respiratory rate, and anaesthetic depth.
No. Animals that are unwell may be more at risk under an anaesthetic, but there is no 'cut off' age for anaesthetics. Age is not an illness in itself, it's just that it means there is more likely to be problems in a sixteen-year-old pet than in a two-year-old. We can check for these and take steps to reduce their impact during the anaesthesia.