Anesthesia & Sedation

There are some situations where your pet will need general anesthesia or sedation while under our care (dental services, surgical procedures, some anxious or fearful patients for exams or to perform medical diagnostics).

Anesthesia is a temporary loss of consciousness, where your pet’s level of consciousness is controlled so they don’t feel pain and don’t move.

General Anesthesia

Appropriately administered general anesthesia entails extremely low risk for the patient, as a result of a combination of pre-anesthetic assessment of the patient (including physical exams, blood tests and any additional medical diagnostics- ultrasounds, radiographs) and our belief in a multimodal strategy (using several classes of analgesic agents which minimizes the depth of general anesthesia required), plus modern anesthetic monitoring equipment. Many patients are awake and standing within 15-20 minutes of completion of the procedure and may go home the same day. Our team is fully trained to confidently assess and monitor your pet’s well being and pain during these procedures.

Pre-Anesthetic administration:

  • Prior to administering any medications your pet’s medical record will be extensively reviewed (bloodwork, radiographs and general health history), they will receive an exam by each member of our surgical team. During this part of your pet’s exam their vital signs are taken, along with listening to their heart and respiratory system.
  • After your pet’s pre-anesthetic exam the veterinarian and lead surgical technician will formulate an appropriate medication protocol (pre and post-anesthetic medications and any pain management)

During Anesthesia:

  • While your pet is under anesthesia they will be monitored closely by your veterinarian and your pet’s anesthesia technician with state of the art monitoring equipment.
  • Your pet’s vital signs and pain level will be closely monitored by the entire surgical team, this will allow the team to make adjustments to your pet’s anesthesia as your pets needs change.


  • After your pet’s procedure they will be moved to a recovery suite, where they will be monitored one on one with a recovery nurse until they are fully awake, breathing on their own, and swallowing.

Injectable Sedation:

Some sedatives also provide analgesia (pain relief). Among these are several short-acting drugs, which have reversal agents that quickly bring an animal back to an alert state. An example is Dexdomitor and Torbugesic, which are used as a sedative and analgesic in dogs. They are used for minor procedures that do not require full general anesthesia such as orthopaedic radiographs, minor wound/laceration repair. The medication is given IV (into the vein) or IM (into the muscle), and the animal is allowed to quietly rest for 10-20 minutes while the drug takes effect. Once the procedure is done, the animal is given a reversal, antisedan, which reverses Dexdomitor/Torbugesic effects. Antisedan is given into the muscle and generally your pet is awake in 10-20 minutes. Injectable sedation is a safe and effective means of treatment and when administered and monitored by trained and knowledgeable staff many adverse side effects are limited.