296 Doctors Dr

Jacksonville, NC 28546 US

(910) 353-1722

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Anesthesia for Animals Used for Surgical Procedures

dog-and-doctor.jpgIf your pet requires veterinary anesthesia, rest assured that he is in good hands here at Animal Hospital of Onslow County. Modern anesthesia for animals is highly sophisticated, enabling precise dosages and monitoring of the pet's health at all times. While at one time all pets routinely received intravenous anesthesia, today we are more likely to use inhaled anesthesia

With this method, an endotracheal tube is inserted down the pet's throat, and this tube supplies a mix of oxygen and anesthetic. Inhaled anesthesia has many advantages over intravenous anesthesia. It can be regulated moment to moment to ensure that the animal receives just enough anesthetic to remain comfortably asleep. The use of an endotracheal tube also helps prevent the pet from accidentally inhaling any stomach contents while anesthetized. The anesthesiologist checks the pet's muscle tone and other physical indicators to determine when this level has been achieved, and can increase or decrease the dosage accordingly.

The Process of Veterinary Anesthesia

Before we can administer veterinary anesthesia, Dr. Altman and Dr. Corry must make a thorough evaluation of the animal's ability to tolerate the drugs and processes involved, and what dosages will be necessary. We may perform chest x-rays, an electrocardiogram, or other diagnostic procedures to determine the health of the heart and lungs, since heart and lung function are both depressed while the patient is anesthetized. We may also run kidney and liver tests to see how efficiently these organs are operating as well. The test results help us determine what type of anesthesia to administer for safe, effective results. Isoflurane, for instance, is the anesthetic of choice for animals with an abnormal heart rhythm.

Pet owners who have scheduled surgery for their pets must take certain steps to prepare the animal for successful anesthesia. For example, they are generally required to stop giving food 12 hours before surgery, to reduce the chances of stomach contents coming back up. Owners should also mention any recent physical and behavioral changes that may indicate an underlying health condition requiring treatment before surgery can proceed. On the day of the pet surgery, the patient first receives an intravenous sedative to tranquilize him. Once the sedative has taken effect, we then administer the anesthesia to render him unconscious. During pet surgery, the anesthesiologist pays careful attention to respiration and other vital signs, ready to provide assistance if any unusual changes occur.

Anesthesia for animals begins to wear off once we have discontinued it, and we continue to monitor the pet until he is fully awake. Keep in mind, however, that the post-operative effects may linger for several days afterward, and these may include a certain amount of confusion and aggression. Because obese animals must receive larger quantities of anesthetic, they may take longer to return to normal than animals of healthy weight. We equip pet owners with post-operative at-home care information before releasing pets.

We encourage any pet owners who have questions about anesthesia for animals to contact our office.

Office Hours


8:00 am-5:30 pm


8:00 am-5:30 pm


8:00 am-5:30 pm


8:00 am-5:30 pm


8:00 am-5:30 pm







  • "Dr. Corry has always gone above and beyond for the care of our family's pets."
    John / Jacksonville, NC

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