Companion Animal General Anaesthesia


We routinely weigh all patients prior to anaesthesia. It may be appropriate to carry out other tests, such as a blood screen or electrocardiogram prior to anaesthesia. These can be performed in the clinic – the veterinary surgeon will advise you accordingly.

A premedication is routinely administered to each patient soon after admission and is a combination of drugs tailored to the requirements of the individual patient. Please report all recent drug treatments and suspected sensitivities or allergic reactions during the admission procedure. The premedication reduces anxiety, produces mild to moderate sedation, pain relief during and after the procedure, decreases the required dose and side effects of subsequent anaesthetic agents, increases muscle relaxation, plus suppresses vomiting and regurgitation. Most commonly three agents are administered by injection – a sedative, a short acting opiate analgesic and a non steroidal anti inflammatory drug.

Your pet is to undergo an investigative, medical or surgical procedure which requires a general anaesthetic. We routinely use the modern anaesthetic agents propofol and isoflurane, although under some circumstances other agents or combinations may be selected. In the majority of procedures isoflurane gas, the maintenance anaesthetic agent, is administered through an endotracheal tube. This combination is commonly used in human anaesthesia. Animals anaesthetised with these agents go to sleep in a smooth and well controlled manner, and wake up quickly and quietly, with very little “hangover” effect. Furthermore, it has fewer deleterious or long lasting effects on the vital organs including the liver, kidneys and heart. We know that by using these anaesthetic combinations the procedures are as safe as possible. This combination is thus especially suitable for out-patient procedures – where patients undergoing surgery are discharged on the same day as the operation.

At Frontier Veterinary Services we are committed to the very safest anaesthetic practices.

We gain information from visual parameters (mucous membrane colour, capillary refill time, respiratory rate and depth, muscle tone, various reflexes); tactile parameters (pulse rate and volume) and audible parameters (heart rate). We will also use monitoring equipment to assess the arterial oxygen saturation (pulse oximetry), heart rate and rhythm (stethoscope) and body temperature (thermometer). Heat loss can be reduced by the use of a heated mat and even warmed intravenous fluids when necessary.

The recovery of each patient is monitored on return to their individual cage. The patient will have a heated mat if necessary, and will be turned as required
All anaesthetics carry some risk. We strive to reduce that risk to the smallest possible degree.

What we would like YOU to do before bringing your pet along for its treatment:

• Please ensure that your dog or cat has had nothing to eat from 20:00 hours the night before the procedure. Water should be available.
• Please ensure that your dog has been let out to go to the toilet before coming to the clinic.