Anesthetic Safety for your Dog or Cat

Anesthetic Safety

Treatment for certain conditions may require that your pet be placed under anesthesia. Many surgical procedures would be nearly impossible to perform without it: Your pet might struggle during the operation, preventing us from treating his or her ailment properly.

Intermountain Pet Hospital uses the utmost care and caution when administering anesthesia. If you need to consider a treatment involving anesthesia, here are the steps you and your pet will go through.

Pre-Anesthesia Evaluation

Prior to surgery, we'll do a thorough evaluation of your pet (we can do this on the day of the surgery, but we recommend bringing your pet in a few days beforehand). Before the exam, your pet should not have eaten for eight hours.

The evaluation involves the following steps:

  • Patient History: We'll go over your pet's medical history. This helps us spot any potential risks if we give your animal anesthesia.
  • Physical Exam: We'll check your pet's current physical condition. This also helps us see any complications that could arise.
  • Blood Testing: We'll check your pet's blood to ensure that he or she can process the anesthetic properly.
  • ECG & Cardiologist Evaluation: We can check your pet's heart to uncover any problems that may require treatment before the surgery.
  • Anesthetic Recommendation: Once we have all the information listed above, we'll use it to choose the right type of anesthetic for your pet.

Day of Surgery

While we perform surgery, we'll give your pet:

  • IV Catheter and Fluids: We give pets IV catheters with emergency drugs in case they need them. We also give them fluids to keep them hydrated maintain their blood pressure.
  • Anesthetic Protocol: We'll give your pet the anesthetic we decided upon at the end of the pre-anesthesia evaluation.
  • Patient Monitoring: Our nurses will watch your pet before, during and after surgery and anesthesia. They'll watch your pet's blood pressure, body temperature and other vital signs.


Intermountain keeps careful watch over pets while they're recovering from surgery. We'll check their vital signs and keep them hydrated and nourished. We'll also give them medication for pain if they need it.

For more information on surgery and anesthetic safety, contact us.