Task force and contributors to the 2020 AAHA Anesthesia and Monitoring Guidelines for Dogs and Cats .
Anesthesia, which is an integral part of daily care in veterinary hospitals, cannot be defined merely by the time that the patient is unconscious, but rather by a continuum of care that begins at home with the owner and does not end until the patient returns home to the owner for follow-up care. Anesthesia is a multidimensional procedure involving not only the patient’s individual characteristics but also specific and critical equipment, appropriate drugs and drug dosages, diligent physiologic monitoring and support, thorough client communication, and highly trained staff.
The objective of these guidelines is to make the anesthesia period as safe as possible for dogs and cats while providing a practical framework for delivering anesthesia care before, during, and after the anesthetic procedure. The guidelines are intended to be comprehensive but neither all-inclusive nor a single source for information and clinical recommendations.