At Valley Animal Hospital we use the latest anesthetic agents as well as gas anesthetic machines to deliver oxygen as well as the gas anesthetic.
In addition to trained surgical technicians being present during all anesthetic procedures, we monitor our patients using the latest equipment seen here on the photo at right. In the unlikely event that a patient develops a problem during the anesthetic process, the monitors allow us to catch the problem and take corrective action long before any potential collapse of major organs occurs. Using this equipment, we monitor the following vital signs:
- SpO2 - this is the concentration of oxygen in the blood stream.
- Pulse - this monitors the strength of the heartbeat and gives us advance warning of cardiac weakness.
- Respiration - this is how many times the patient is breathing every minute.
- Temperature - this helps us prevent a low body temperature that could result in a state of hypothermia. This is especially true in surgeries lasting greater than 1/2 hour.
- ECG or Electrocardiogram - here, we monitor for any irregularities of the heartbeat
- End Tidal Carbon Dioxide- measuring the amount of carbon dioxide during expiration gives us an idea of how well the patient is breathing
- Blood Pressure- should the blood pressure drop too low, the pet becomes as high risk of developing kidney problems.
Every patient that undergoes a general anesthetic will have an intravenous catheter placed in their arm or leg. This provides an additional level of safety as fluids can be given during the anesthesia to help prevent dangerous low blood pressure. We can also administer pain medications and antibiotics as needed during and after surgery. Should an anesthetic emergency occur, we already have emergency access to administer medications to treat the emergency.
For longer anesthetic procedures, we keep your pets temperature stable by using a Bair Hugger. This piece of equipment creates a warm air blanket around your pet to help prevent hypothermia (low body temperature).