Previously, Dr. Heidi Shafford of Veterinary Anesthesia Specialists discussed reasons for having dental work performed on your pet under general anesthesia. In today’s post, Dr. Shafford continues her discussion of anesthesia for dental patients.
Minimizing the Risks of Anesthesia 1: Role of the Veterinary Team
Anesthesia is like any medical procedure, there are benefits and risks. We previously discussed the benefits of anesthesia for dental procedures. The risk of anesthetic-induced death is uncommon: approximately 1 in 1000 for healthy cats and 1 in 2000 for healthy dogs. While the incidence of anesthetic death is low, it could and should be much lower. Why isn’t it? In part, its because many practices aren’t actively taking the necessary steps to reduce anesthetic risk. One goal of these blog posts is to help you become a more well informed advocate and learn about the ways in which you can help to lower anesthetic risks for your pet.
Anesthesia occurs in several steps, with opportunities at each step to minimize risks for your pet. Below I present a simple outline of the steps involved in anesthesia. Following this outline is a list of questions you might ask your veterinary team to find out what they are doing to minimize and manage anesthetic risks.