Anesthesia and Patient Monitoring

During surgery and other medical procedures, our team of veterinarians and veterinary technicians monitor all patients to ensure their safety. We monitor every procedure, regardless of whether it’s routine or more advanced. The type of anesthesia we use depends on the procedure. Some require general anesthesia, while others may only call for local anesthesia. For more specific information on our protocols, please see the individual descriptions or contact us with any questions.



If travel, thunder, or fireworks upset your pet, they may benefit from a Thundershirt, anti-anxiety medication, sedation, and/or anti-anxiety supplements (such as Dog Appeasing Pheromone- DAP).  In order to determine the best plan for your pet, please give us a call to make an appointment at 519-969-7390.  Also, our website has a list of articles written by veterinary professionals, including some great articles on thunderstorm and firework anxiety.


Patient Monitoring & Anesthetic Safety Measures


During any procedure that requires any sedation or anesthesia we have a multitude of safety measures which we follow to keep our patients as safe as possible during and after the procedure. The veterinarian will perform a full pre-surgical physical examination to ensure your pet is healthy. The veterinarian will listen to your pet’s heart and lungs to ensure they do not have issues such as heart murmurs, heart rhythm abnormalities or respiratory system issues. They will assess their hydration, alertness, palpate their abdomen for organ abnormalities. Once we have ensured the health of your pet, we will perform any necessary blood work prior to sedating them. This will assess their organ function (liver and kidneys) as well as check for anemia, dehydration and blood glucose levels. Your pet is placed on IV fluids prior to receiving sedation to support their organ function, keep them well hydrated and maintain a normal blood pressure throughout the procedure.

A Registered Veterinary Technician (RVT) will continually assess your pet’s heart rate, rhythm, respiratory rate, blood pressure and other vital signs to continue to ensure the safety of your pet. We use sophisticated equipment to monitor your pet’s heart rate and rhythm as well as blood pressure.

Please feel free to ask us about our patient monitoring protocol or any concerns you might have about your pet’s procedure.


General Anesthesia


For some procedures, your pet will need to be administered general anesthesia so that he or she will be unconscious and not feel pain. Many pet owners worry about their pets being administered general anesthesia. We can assure you that modern anesthesia is generally quite safe; to further lower any risk, we perform a physical examination and run blood work ahead of time to catch any underlying health issues. In addition, we follow a specific anesthetic protocol, including monitoring vital signs during the procedure, to ensure the safety of our patients.

We begin most general anesthetic procedures by administering a sedative to help the pet relax and decrease any anxiety and pain. We then administer an intravenous drug to provide complete anesthesia and place a breathing tube into the patient’s trachea (windpipe). To maintain the state of unconsciousness, we deliver a gas anesthetic in combination with oxygen through the breathing tube.

Please contact us if you have any questions or concerns about your pet receiving general anesthesia or about the procedure for which your pet is scheduled.

Local Anesthesia


If your pet is having a minor surgical or diagnostic procedure performed, we sometimes use a local anesthetic to help control pain. For example, when we perform a biopsy (in which a small portion of tissue is surgically removed so it can be examined), we often use a local anesthetic. Local anesthetics cause a loss of sensation in the area where the procedure is being performed. We sometimes use a sedative and/or anxiolytic (anti-anxiety medication) in combination with the local anesthetic to keep pets calm during a procedure.

Please contact us if you have any questions or concerns about your pet receiving local anesthesia or about the procedure for which your pet is scheduled.