Assessing anesthesia risks

By Connie Orcutt • Published: January 1st, 2013
Category: Animal Airwaves

If you get antsy thinking of your four-legged friend having general anesthesia, you’re not alone. The risk of anesthetic death is only about one in one thousand pets, but many pet lovers fear that “one” could be theirs.

Veterinarians work hard to reduce anesthetic risks, starting with a thorough examination. If your pet has a heart murmur, an echocardiogram might be needed to look at his heart function. Abnormal breathing could warrant a chest x-ray. And routine blood tests may uncover other problems. Sometimes the anesthetic procedure is even postponed until these concerns are addressed.

Some surgeries require special tests. For example, your pet may need to have his blood typed in case he requires a transfusion during surgery.

Stay tuned for ways the veterinary team reduces risks during anesthetic procedures.