Almost every client shares similar concerns over the risk of anesthesia. And surprisingly, many have stories of animals that have had complications, even accidental death, while aneshtetized for routine, elective procedures. So important is this concern that we feel it deserves special attention.
First, understand that surgical risk and anesthetic risk are, at times, very different.
Simply put, anesthetic risk is directly related to equipment, instrumentation/monitoring, vigilance and expertise of the person who properly and appropriately administers the anesthetic drugs. A dedicated, well-trained anesthetist who monitors your pet’s changing status during general anesthesia is absolutely necessary for your pet’s well-being.
Specific problems that increase your pet’s anesthetic risk should be discussed with your doctor before a procedure. You should be informed of what precautions will be taken to increase your pet’s safety. And don't be reluctant to ask who will be dedicated to monitoring your pet’s vital signs during anesthesia and how will this be accomplished?
Almost all pets, regardless of increasing risk, may be safely anesthetized. That said, there is no one anesthetic protocol that is appropriate and safe for all animals. Our responsibility is to provide safe anesthesia specifically tailored to your pet as well as to anticipate, recognize and treat complications experienced while under anesthesia.
In short, one might say there's no such thing as safe anesthesia. There's only safe anesthetists!