Support Services - Anesthesia Service
The MSU-CVM Anesthesia section provides service to both the large and small animal sides of the hospital. Dogs, cats, and horses are the most common patients, however, rabbits, birds, pocket pets, cows, pigs, lions, and tigers have all been anesthetized by the service. The Anesthesia Team is led by Andrew Claude, DVM, Diplomate ACVA, board-certified anesthesiologist. Along with Dr. Claude is Robert Meyer, DVM, Diplomate ACVA, also a board-certified veterinary anesthesiologist, Dr. Simone Hinz, DVM, Tonya Graham, CVT, VTAS-Anesthesia, Nancy Pounds, CVT, Stacy Taylor, CVT and resident Ludovica Chiavaccini, DVM, MS. Together; these individuals are responsible for teaching the concepts and applications of anesthesia to 2nd and 3rd year veterinary students and veterinary technology students.
In order to provide some information about the service, a list of FAQ’s has been compiled and will hopefully address any questions concerning the anesthesia service of MSU-CVM. If you have other questions, however, please contact the clinician in charge of your pet’s care.
Frequently Asked Questions
What information do I need to provide when I bring my pet to MSU-CVM?
This is a general answer for any service to which you are bringing your pet in to be seen- whether or not it will involve anesthesia. Be sure to notify the student or clinician taking your pet’s history of any medications (even monthly heartworm prevention, deworming regimen, or flea treatment) your pet may be taking or that your referring veterinarian may have given. It is your job as your pet’s owner to provide a complete picture of your pet’s history and any other information that may be important to the evaluation of your pet. The information you provide about your pet will be used in conjunction with your pet’s physical exam and diagnostic tests in order to determine course of treatment, and specifically the anesthetic protocol. Also, ask questions! Good communication between you and your pet’s student and clinician is vital to a successful visit at MSU-CVM.
What do I expect when my pet needs anesthesia?
When your pet requires anesthesia, either for surgery or a diagnostic procedure, it is usually handled by MSU-CVM’s anesthesia service. Occasionally, some of the other departments will anesthetize their patients for routine procedures within their department. You can ask your clinician who will be handling the anesthesia of your pet.
When it is decided that your pet needs anesthesia, expect for your pet to spend the night in our hospital the night before his procedure, and sometimes the night of the procedure as well. The anesthesia service will receive a request from the clinician, and an anesthesia student is assigned to the case. That student will review your pet’s medical history, perform a physical exam, learn about the procedure being performed, and decide on an anesthetic plan especially for your pet. The anesthetic plan is then discussed with the anesthesiologist for approval, or a plan in accordance with anesthesiologist-approved standard protocol is used. Your pet is then anesthetized according to the approved plan and the procedure is done. Once your pet recovers from anesthesia, he is returned to the care of the original student and clinician.
If my pet is home with me the night before his procedure, what should I do?
If your pet is having a routine procedure, such as spay/neuter, or dental, and the clinician has allowed you to take your pet home the night before his procedure, it is important that you adhere to any instructions the clinician may give you. These instructions may include not feeding your pet anything after midnight. It is also important to have your pet here on time the morning of his procedure, as arriving late may prevent your pet from having the procedure done that day.
How is my pet anesthetized?
Your pet’s anesthesia record will be kept by the anesthesia student assigned to the case. This student, under the guidance of at least one of the anesthesia team members will perform your pet’s anesthesia.
Most pets require premedication with a sedative before anesthesia. This is to calm your pet, as we prepare to induce anesthesia. This also allows for easier placement of an IV catheter, which almost all of our anesthetic patients receive. Anesthesia is induced either by IV injection or by allowing your pet to breathe anesthetic agents until they lose consciousness. Most patients are then intubated so that we can help with their breathing if we need to. Usually, anesthesia is maintained by the use of inhalational anesthetic agents. An alternative to inhalational anesthesia we sometimes use is a constant rate infusion of an IV anesthetic agent. The type of premedication, induction agent, and maintenance agent is an approved plan, and is specific to your pet’s needs.
What will be monitored on my pet during the procedure?
While your pet is anesthetized we monitor several things. Our monitoring is usually non-invasive and includes: ECG monitor, blood pressure, oxygenation of blood (SpO2), carbon dioxide (ETCO2), and we also check pulses manually and watch your pet closely to determine their depth of anesthesia. For large animals and on some of our small animal cases, we will monitor blood pressure with an arterial catheter. Adjustments are made to the anesthesia during the procedure as needed in order to provide the best care possible for your pet.
Will my pet be painful?
Pain is something that is very real and it is our goal to minimize, if not totally eliminate it. Part of your pet’s anesthetic plan is pain management. Taking into consideration all aspects of your pet’s history, physical exam, and the type of procedure being done, we attempt to minimize the pain before, during, and after the procedure. This is done in many different ways, with IV or under the skin injections, constant rate infusions, epidurals, and local nerve blocks to name a few. Since no two patients are alike, each must have a pain management plan tailored to his needs. We will make your pet as comfortable as possible before we return care to the original clinician and student. It will be the responsibility of that clinician and student to then maintain the pain management of your pet if it is required. The clinician can also consult with the anesthesiologist concerning pain management strategies also.
What should I expect after my pet has recovered from anesthesia?
Your pet may be groggy and sleepy for hours after he has recovered from anesthesia. Some pets bounce right back to what they were before we anesthetized them. Each pet is different and will have different recoveries from anesthesia. You may or may not be allowed to visit with your pet shortly after they are awake from anesthesia. This is to ensure that your pet has fully recovered from anesthesia, as they are probably just as anxious to see you as you are to see them. Please understand that such precautions are for the health and safety of your pet as they recover from their procedures.
I am nervous about having my pet anesthetized, what should I do?
All operations and procedures and all anesthesia carry some degree of risk. In general, the risk is dependent on the procedure being done and the medical condition of the patient. Healthy animals undergoing uncomplicated procedures will usually have the lowest risk. We strive to lower this risk through planning, constant patient monitoring, and experience. We encourage you to discuss any concerns you may have with your clinician regarding your pet’s anesthesia at MSU-CVM.