Veterinary Anesthesia

May 6, 2022

One of the most frequent sentiments that we hear from clients is that they are scared of anesthesia. In many cases, this fear is the reason that they have delayed pursuing treatment for their pets. The irony in these cases is that eventually, the oral disease can become so severe and take away from “quality of life” so much that they have no choice, and by this time, the pet is older and the treatments are generally more involved and expensive. While it’s true that anesthesia does pose some risks for animals (as in humans), that risk is minimal, and should not be a huge source of anxiety or a reason for delaying appropriate treatment.

As a board-certified specialist, we often see older animals and pets with pre-existing diseases (heart murmurs, kidney disease, cancer, immune system disorders, etc..). These animals, like all animals, deserve to live a life free from the pain and discomfort that can accompany dental disease. Age is NOT a limiting factor in the decision of whether or not we pursue treatment on a pet. We are interested in providing all the animals in our care with a functional, comfortable oral cavity that is set up for long term success. Our perspective is that for as long as you have your pet, they should enjoy as much quality of life as possible.

A complete oral examination, with diagnostics such as dental x-rays, can only be completed with the aid of general anesthesia. Without it, many things would be missed, and proper treatments cannot be carried out. The goal is always to tailor the anesthesia to the individual animal and to minimize or eliminate the risks. Towards this end, we start with a complete physical examination on every animal.