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2020 AAHA Anesthesia and Monitoring Guidelines for Dogs and Cats provide framework to reduce anesthesia complications and keep pets safe

Lakewood, Colorado Pet owners’ fears about anesthesia are nothing new to the veterinary profession, and with good reason.  As the saying goes, “there are no safe anesthetic agents or procedures—only safe anesthetists.”

Published in the latest issue of the Journal of the American Animal Hospital Association (JAAHA), the 2020 AAHA Anesthesia and Monitoring Guidelines for Dogs and Cats provide tools to calm client fears and decrease unforeseen complications by outlining intentional routines to guide everyone—including the caregivers at home—to achieve the best possible outcome.

Anesthesia is a continuum of care that begins before the patient leaves the house and ends when they return home comfortable and calm. These guidelines encompass three phases of anesthesia, from preanesthesia to the return home, and help veterinary teams partner with pet owners to deliver the safest possible anesthesia care before, during, and after the procedure.

“Anesthesia is a critical aspect of modern veterinary medicine, and one that frightens many pet owners. It takes a village to emotionally, physically, and logistically prepare pets and their people for an anesthetic event,” said AAHA Chief Executive Officer Michael Cavanaugh, DVM, DABVP (Emeritus).

“I am proud of the 2020 AAHA Anesthesia and Monitoring Guidelines for Dogs and Cats and the positive impact they will have on practice teams. We call anesthesia a continuum of care because it encompasses the pet’s experience from ‘doorknob to doorknob,’ through home preparation; arriving at the hospital; before, during, and after anesthesia; and returning home again. These guidelines help every member of the team embrace their role in patient care and client education by training them to be more comfortable with the continuum of anesthesia. As always, our ultimate goal is better care and outcomes for pets and their people,” Cavanaugh added.

The 2020 AAHA Anesthesia and Monitoring Guidelines for Dogs and Cats offer hands-on techniques and tools for veterinary professionals, including discharge instructions, process checklists, tips for troubleshooting complications, technique illustrations, and more.

AAHA guidelines detail the latest information to help veterinary teams address core issues in their practices and perform essential tasks to improve the health of their patients.

The 2020 AAHA Anesthesia and Monitoring Guidelines for Dogs and Cats are supported by generous educational grants from IDEXX Laboratories, Inc., Midmark, and Zoetis Petcare. They are available in the March/April issue of the Journal of the American Animal Hospital Association (JAAHA) or online at aaha.org/anesthesia.

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About AAHA

The American Animal Hospital Association is the only organization that accredits companion animal practices throughout the United States and Canada according to high standards of veterinary care. AAHA-accredited hospitals are recognized among the finest in the industry and are consistently at the forefront of advanced veterinary medicine. Pet owners look for AAHA-accredited hospitals because they value their pet’s health and trust the consistent, expert care provided by the entire healthcare team. For more information, visit aaha.org.