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What Every Pet Owner Should Know Before Their Dog or Cat Goes "Under"

By Dr. Becker

I think more pet parents than not are fearful of veterinary  procedures requiring anesthesia.

It’s unsettling to imagine your helpless dog  or cat lying on a table unconscious.

Perhaps you’ve had a bad experience when a  beloved pet was anesthetized.

I understand and sympathize with concerns about veterinary  anesthesia.

That’s why when I come across information about new developments or  enhancements in the field I like to make both my clinic clients and Mercola Healthy  Pets readers aware of them.

New AAHA Anesthesia Guidelines for Dogs and Cats

Recently the American Animal Hospital Association (AAHA)  released new dog and cat anesthesia guidelines for veterinarians.

The  guidelines cover the process from the pre-anesthetic evaluation right through  to recovery, and are intended to complement existing protocols from the American College of Veterinary Anesthesiologists.

The guidelines also include:

  • The need for individual patient anesthetic  plans, client communication, and preparation for anesthesia.
  • Management of emergency cases where the patient  can’t be fasted prior to anesthesia.
  • The use of pre-anesthesia and pain management  drugs.
  • Management of anesthesia patients who have  significant chronic conditions like diabetes, kidney, heart or liver disease.
  • The use of other drugs before and after  anesthesia, for example, anti-anxiety medications and bronchodilators.
  • Checklists for patient preparation, including  equipment and monitoring tools.
  • Tips on inducing, maintaining and monitoring  anesthesia.

The new guidelines also outline with specificity proper  management of patients recovering from anesthesia.

According to the AAHA, 47  percent of anesthesia-related deaths in dogs and 60 percent of kitty deaths  occur within the first three hours of recovery from a procedure.

The guidelines point out that veterinary staff should be  trained to recognize the signs of developing post-anesthesia complications...

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