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What To Know When Your Cat Needs Anesthesia

There may be a time when your cat will require anesthesia for a surgical, medical, dental, or diagnostic procedure. Dr. Lacie will perform a thorough physical examination on your cat prior to the anesthetic procedure scheduled. During this examination, Dr. Lacie will evaluate blood work, health status, and the specifics of your cat to select the best anesthetic and pain prevention protocol for their individual needs. Throughout the entire course of the procedure, anesthesia will be administered and monitored by Cat Care Center's veterinary team. This will include a dedicated, trained anesthesia monitoring technician and electronic patient monitors throughout the entire procedure.  Knowing the basics of anesthesia and recovery will help to ease your mind while your cat is under our care.Pre surgery

Cat anesthesia may be deemed necessary when a procedure needs to be performed where the cat will be immobilized or if the procedure would otherwise cause pain or distress that is beyond what the cat can comfortably tolerate. We want you to feel absolutely comfortable with our hospital, staff, and recommendations and anytime a cat sedative is being recommended we want to reassure you that our veterinary staff is here to answer any questions and provide any assistance that will make the procedure easier for you and your cat.

Because cats have specific needs, it is important to make sure that veterinary anesthesia protocols are followed properly to prepare your cat for surgery. We make it our priority to ensure that your cat is in optimal health before any cat surgery is performed. Therefore, our veterinarian will always recommend some diagnostic testing before the procedure to ensure that we have a complete picture of your cat’s physical health.

When Your Cat Would Need Anesthesia

Cat anesthesia is needed with any type of procedure where it needs to be immobilized or during any type of surgery where the cat would otherwise feel pain. Cat sedatives allow us to keep your cat perfectly still and pain-free during the surgery. During anesthesia, your cat will be in an unconscious state and will not feel any discomfort. The veterinary team will discuss any anticipated pain and include multi-modal pain prevention in your cat's anesthesia protocol.

Risks Associated with Giving Cats Anesthesia

There are always risks that come with any surgery, but the risks are very low thanks to the experienced veterinary team here at Cat Care Center of Baton Rouge. Our veterinary staff ensure that risks are minimized by performing careful and consistent monitoring throughout the entire time feline patients are under anesthesia.

What to Expect the Day Your Cat Receives Veterinary Anesthesia

You will receive a specific set of instructions from your veterinarian before your cat receives anesthesia or undergoes any surgical procedure. We will discuss with you any risks of veterinary anesthesia. Here are some things to keep in mind as you arrive with your cat for the surgery:

  • Fasting is recommended the night before any cat sedatives are administered
  • Follow any specific directions given to you by your veterinarian
  • Depending on the type of procedure and your cat’s condition, our veterinarian may recommend additional prescription pain medications while your cat recovers
  • Ask any questions you may have, and our veterinary staff will provide answers and help to ease your mind before or after the surgery is performed

Monitoring Anesthetized Cats

Anesthesia monitoring

The veterinary surgical team will monitor your cat very carefully during and after the procedure and throughout the time that they are under the influence of anesthesia or sedation. A dedicated, experienced veterinary technician and electronic patient monitors will monitor your cat's vital signs throughout the entire procedure. The patient monitors are attached to your cat and will continuously measure heart rate, ECG, respiratory rate, body temperature, the amount of oxygen in the blood, the amount of carbon dioxide in the blood, and blood pressure. The most important monitoring tool is the trained veterinary technician dedicated to your cat while anesthetized. This person will be assessing your cat's heart rate, respiratory rate, gum color, and depth of anesthesia and not just relying on monitors. Vitals will be charted in an anesthesia record every few minutes. After your cat comes out of surgery, our veterinary staff will:

  • Monitor your cat’s heart rate, body temperature, blood pressure, oxygen levels, and carbon dioxide output levels
  • Keep an IV catheter in place to provide fluid support should there be any fluctuations in blood pressure
  • Make sure your cat is breathing well and resting comfortably
  • Ensure a pain-free experience in recovery and going forward.

*The risks of cat anesthesia are very low with proper monitoring.

What to Expect as Cats Come out of Anesthesia

The veterinary team at Cat Care Center of Baton Rouge will continue to monitor your cat’s vital signs, heart rate, and blood pressure as it comes out of anesthesia and until your cat is ready to return home. Your cat may feel sedated for a period of time after it goes home. Our staff will talk to you about your cat’s pain management plan. Your cat may need pain medication for several days and you will receive specific instructions before your cat is released. If you should have any questions or concerns, please call Cat Care Center of Baton Rouge right away. Some cats may not regain their appetite until the next day. Always follow all instructions given to you by our veterinary team to ensure your cat’s full recovery.

AAFP - Feline Anesthesia

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