There is no such thing as completely safe anesthesia. Anesthesia complications can occur that can compromise a patient's health and even result in death. Many anesthetic complications and accidents can be minimized or avoided with proper knowledge and avoidance techniques and vigilant patient preparation and monitoring.
Pain management in small animal medicine is one of the fastest growing areas of revenue. Veterinarians should be knowledgeable about pain management because not only is it good medicine, clients think we already know about it and are doing something for their pets, our technicians are talking to each other about pain and our treatment of it.
The endocrine systems throughout the body play crucial rolls in the maintenance and metabolism that are required to maintain health. Perturbations in many of these symptoms occur in dogs and cats and veterinarians are often required to diagnose and treat these conditions that may last throughout the lifetime of a pet.
Veterinary patients can present for a variety of diseases that impact the neurological system. These patients can require anesthesia for stabilization, diagnostic procedures, or surgical correction of these diseases.
Anesthesia of the pregnant dog or cat falls into two categories, anesthesia of a pregnant animal for a procedure unrelated to the pregnancy and anesthesia of a pregnant animal specifically for a problem related to the pregnancy/cesarean section. Anesthesia of a pregnant animal for procedures unrelated to the pregnancy is often not problematic unless the animal is in a compromised state.
Over the past two decades, technologies have developed to allow for rapid and continuous determination of many physiologic parameters in anesthetized and critical care patients. Two of the most important modalities are pulse oximetry and capnometry.
Although age itself is not a disease, advanced age can be a predictor for increased risk of certain disease conditions. Additionally, as our patients age, normal changes occur in their physiology that can change their responses to anesthesia and analgesic medications as well as potentially put them at higher risk of peri-anesthetic complications.
Cardiac diseases occur frequently in small animal patients. It is often necessary to anesthetize these animals for routine procedures (dental prophylaxis, OVH, neuter), emergency procedures (GDV, fracture repair) or for the cardiac condition itself (PDA correction, balloon valvuloplasty, pacemaker implantation).