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Pet Surgery: What to Know about Your Dog and Anesthesia

As a pet owner, the thought of having surgery done on your dog may not sit well with you, because your dog has to be under anesthesia.

However, your dog will have to undergo anesthesia at one point or the other.

Examples of procedures that call for anesthesia include neutering, spaying, dental procedures, among others.

To feel at ease before taking your dog for anesthesia, what do you need to know?

Pet Surgery - What to Know about Your Dog and Anesthesia

Pet Surgery: What to Know about Your Dog and Anesthesia

Types of Anesthesia

Your dog can be put either under local or general anesthesia.

For dental procedures and others such as spaying, your dog has to be fully anesthetized.

These procedures need your dog to be completely still yet getting your dog to remain still upon command is not easy.

On the other hand, local anesthesia may be given for procedures that do not need your dog to be unconscious such as treating a small cut or wound.

Is Your Dog at Risk?

Just as in human beings, anesthesia in dogs comes with risks.

The risk is, however, minimal.

Your dog may develop allergic reactions to anesthesia.

This should be attended to immediately according to the symptoms witnessed.

The allergic reactions could be as simple as swelling at the injection area or serious as is the case with anaphylactic shock.

Severe allergic reactions can, however, lead to death.

Minimizing the Risks of Anesthesia

Pre-anesthesia care is necessary to minimize the effects of anesthesia on your dog.

If your vet tells you that your dog needs to fast, for say eight hours, ensure this is done.

If not, your dog may vomit while under anesthesia, which will affect his breathing.

It is also best to have the procedure done by a vet who knows your dog’s complete health history.

This way, your vet can preempt any complications that may arise and prepare for them accordingly.

A thorough physical exam should be done on your dog including a chest exam, palpitations of the abdomen, and gum assessment to determine hydration levels.

Blood tests such as chemistry tests and complete blood count should also be done.

What Happens on the Day of Anesthesia?

You may need to sign a consent form before any procedures are done on your dog.

Review all the forms carefully.

Anesthesia administration can be done either by injection or inhalation.

Often, a machine from a company like Keebovet is used.

A sedative may be given to ease the process of administering anesthesia.

Once administered, your dog’s vital signs will be monitored until the anesthesia wears off.

Post-anesthesia Care

Just like in humans, your dog may feel out of it for a couple of hours when he wakes up.

Monitor his response during this time.

If he is not feeling better after a day, you should contact your vet to find out if anything should be done.

Pain medication should also be administered during this time.

Additionally, you may need to take your dog to a chiropractor.

His body may need to be aligned because moving him while he was unconscious could have affected his body’s alignment.


Anesthesia is needed before many procedures are performed on your dog.

You should, however, know that minimal risks accompany the procedure.

To feel more at ease before and after the procedure is done, ask your vet to explain the entire procedure and to answer any questions you may have.

Tracy Robertson

Friday 6th of October 2017

Good information. What kind of dog is pictured here? It is sooo cute!

Linda Manns Linneman

Wednesday 4th of October 2017

I did not know anything about our pets getting surgery. This is such a great informative article. Thank you so much for sharing. God Bless

Sandra Jacob

Tuesday 3rd of October 2017

I am so afraid for the day my Nova gets fixed. I know what it is like to go under anesthesia, having been there so many times, and the risks associated with it scare me!


Tuesday 3rd of October 2017

I never thought much about the anesthesia for a pet, especially for dental procedures. Good to know.


Monday 2nd of October 2017

I have always been very careful with my pets to follow the preop directions totally, especially the fasting because I know how critical that can be.

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