Pet Surgery and Anesthesia
From Dr. Savita Wadhwani, veterinarian and owner, Wells Branch Pet and Bird Clinic:
The chance of something going wrong is that small, but it’s there. Now, the risk increases as the health of the dog decreases. So in a sick pet if we need to sedate it, that’s a little more risky. A pet that has swallowed something and has an intestinal blockage and not eating for a few days, that’s a little bit risky. It has to be done. If you want to save the pet there are some chances we have to take sometimes to save the pet. Anesthesia is just that. You know that’s a very calculated risk we take. We sedate the dog but the dog’s life is going to be incredible after that infection that’s been going on is handled. And we have to take a little risk. There are very few instances of ever losing a pet to anesthesia. I’m not going to tell you it doesn’t happen. It does. It’s very rare. Just like in people it’s rare. But it does happen. There is a risk there. But the anesthetics these days are so safe. There are incredibly safe anesthetics that we can give a dog. They get sedated very quickly and because it’s so quick we can also wake them up very quickly. So there are very safe anesthetics. I use very safe anesthetics for the cats and dogs that come into the clinic. Remember, I treat them as if they’re MY cats and dogs, even though they’re yours; I want to be safe with them.Sometimes when a dog or cat comes into the clinic, they need surgery or they need anesthesia or some other procedures. People are very nervous or worried about having their pet have anesthesia. There is reason for that. It’s a risky thing, anesthesia. It’s risky for people and it’s risky for pets. But let me explain it to you this way. When a pet goes under anesthesia there’s always some degree of risk. Sometimes it’s more, sometimes it’s less. In a healthy pet it’s not much. It’s the same amount of risk that you take every single time you get in the car to drive somewhere there is some risk that you’re going to get in a wreck, just right around the corner to the convenience store or something. Does that stop you from getting in your car and going? Of course not. Well look, that’s the same amount of risk every single time we do anesthesia on a pet. There’s some risk there.
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