September 21, 2020
Pet owners often are afraid about their geriatric pets undergoing an anesthetic procedure, because they fear their pet’s organs are too old to handle anesthetic drugs, or that their pet may not survive the procedure. With anesthesia, age really can simply be a number. Although anesthesia is never without risk, older pets who are in good physical condition can undergo anesthesia with no complications.
Sometimes, however, an older pet with a pre-existing health condition requires surgery, and specialized care. We understand your concerns, and are equipped with advanced tools to screen your geriatric pet prior to anesthesia, monitor her throughout the procedure, and care for her during recovery.
If an anesthetic procedure has been recommended for your pet, her veterinarian believes it is necessary for optimal health, or to maintain a good quality of life. Common procedures performed in geriatric pets include:
The decision to anesthetize your geriatric pet is not taken lightly. We know that older pets have an increased anesthesia and disease risk, so we will take a complete history, perform a thorough physical exam, and run pre-anesthetic testing before your pet’s procedure.
Pre-anesthetic testing is recommended for all pets, but it is particularly important for geriatric pets to identify pre-existing health conditions that could complicate the procedure or compromise their health. A geriatric pre-anesthetic evaluation includes tests that evaluate overall health, such as:
Depending on your pet’s health status and physical exam findings, we may perform other tests, such as radiographs (x-rays), to gather all the information needed to fully evaluate her overall health.
A veterinary technician will monitor your pet while she is under anesthesia, constantly checking her vital functions, including:
If your pet’s vital signs become slightly abnormal during anesthesia, we will take measures to correct them.
Your pet’s veterinary technician will stay by her side and continue to monitor her vital signs until she is safely recovered. If your pet requires extended care after she is awake from anesthesia, she can be transferred to either our emergency or critical care department for continued care.
We understand your concerns about placing your geriatric pet under anesthesia, which is why we will perform a thorough health evaluation before, monitor her closely during, and provide support after her procedure. If you have concerns about your geriatric pet and anesthesia, contact us.