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Oklahoma State University
Center For Veterinary Health Sciences

Healthy Animals - Healthy People

Anesthesia Services

The Anesthesia Experience/What to Expect

The Anesthesia Team works closely with your primary clinician throughout the anesthetic period to ensure the best continuity and quality of care for the patient.

All of the patient’s pertinent information, including medical history, current physical examination findings, and available diagnostic information (blood work, radiographs, etc.) will be reviewed and discussed by the Anesthesia Team. A customized anesthesia plan will then be developed under the direction of the anesthesiologist. This plan will include not only the drugs used to produce and maintain anesthesia, but also the monitoring and supportive care to promote normal systems function both during and after anesthesia.

In addition to the Anesthesia Team members, a senior veterinary student will be assigned to the patient. This student will stay with the patient throughout the duration of the anesthesia and immediately post-anesthesia.

Most patients undergoing anesthesia will be fasted prior to anesthesia depending on their current health status and procedures being undertaken. While recovering from anesthesia, it is not unusual for the patient to be drowsy, and often times will be less active and perhaps sleep most of the evening and into the following day. For those patients who are not critical, or underwent minor procedures, they will recover in the anesthesia recovery room until fully awake and able to return to their overnight kennel or be sent home.  Patients undergoing extensive procedures, or who require intensive post-operative care may recover in our intensive care unit (ICU), where our Anesthesia Team will work closely with the ICU staff to ensure a seamless transition for the patient’s post-anesthesia care.

What can I do to help reduce the risks of anesthesia?*

  • Let your veterinarian know if your animal has ever had a reaction to sedation or anesthesia
  • Make sure your veterinarian is aware of all medications/supplements (including over the counter) that your animal is receiving
  • Keep your animal healthy with regular preventive care and maintain a healthy weight
  • Take steps to prevent injuries to your animal whenever possible (avoiding emergencies that may require anesthesia)
  • Follow your veterinarian’s instructions before anesthesia, especially with regards to withholding food and/or water
  • Follow your veterinarian’s instructions regarding any medications you should – or should not – give to your animal

*Based on AVMA guidelines, “When Your Pet Needs Anesthesia”