COVID-19 Update: AAHA staff is currently working remotely and will support our members virtually. All orders are currently shipping as normal.
Click here for more information.

At a glance

Successful anesthesia is more than absence of perianesthetic morbidity and mortality. It encompasses physiologic stability as well as adequate hypnosis and analgesia.

Create a specific or customized plan for each patient based on the animal’s physical status (based on history, physical exam, and laboratory exam), temperament, and the procedure to be performed.

A person trained and skilled in anesthesia should be present during the perianesthetic period to deliver and monitor anesthesia.

Multimodal anesthesia is optimal and recommended. This involves concurrent use of sedatives or tranquilizers, opioids, and both intravenous and inhalant anesthetic drugs.

Adjunctive procedures, such as local anesthetic nerve blocks, epidural analgesia, and analgesic drug infusions, in conjunction with general anesthesia, can improve analgesia, muscle relaxation, and hemodynamic status.

Opioid drugs provide excellent analgesia and should be administered during painful procedures.

Have emergency drugs, including anticholinergics and those for CPCR, readily available. Know the appropriate dosage for each drug for each patient anesthetized.

Ensure airway patency by inserting a suitably sized, cuffed endotracheal tube.

Regularly monitor and record anesthetic depth, oxygenation, ventilation, and cardiovascular function. Monitor these variables throughout the entire anesthetic period, including recovery.

Insert an IV catheter preoperatively and have perioperative IV fluids available for infusion.

Monitor each animal throughout recovery for adequate analgesia and an appropriate level of sedation.