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Massachusetts Veterinary Referral Hospital (MVRH)

Black and orange cat in a box with the lid half off

Anesthesia and Pain Management

General anesthesia is very safe and our veterinarians and support staff take a number of measures to alleviate pain and make this procedure even less risky.

At Mass Vet, ensuring the safety and comfort of our patients is essential. General anesthesia is necessary for many procedures including MRI and CT scans, endoscopy procedures, ophthalmic procedures, and surgery. The overall risk of general anesthesia, in our healthy veterinary patients with appropriate monitoring, is very low (less than 1% in recent studies). However, we realize the thought of having your pet anesthetized can be worrisome.

Mass Vet offers individualized anesthesia planning for every patient that is to undergo sedation or anesthesia at our hospital. Prior to anesthesia, the doctor will perform a complete physical examination and consider your pet’s temperament, age, breed, health and the procedure when creating their plan. These considerations will influence drug choices, support, and the monitoring of your pet while they are anesthetized to make sure he or she is safe from beginning to end. An important component of the anesthetic plan is a customized approach to pain management. Whenever possible, loco-regional anesthesia techniques, such as nerve blocks and epidurals, are incorporated into each pet’s pain management plan as they have become the standard of care in human medicine. Such techniques hasten the return to normal activity, provide the best pain control after surgery, and allow us to use lower doses of other medications that can affect alertness and appetite.

Our Anesthesiologists

Mass Vet has a full range of specialists, including two board certified veterinary anesthesiologists. For each patient, the anesthesiologist on duty helps to develop your pet’s individualized anesthesia plan, directly supervises the case, and will be available if any unforeseen complications arise.

Our anesthesiologists have extensive experience safely anesthetizing patients with a variety of disease processes including:

  • Cardiovascular, pulmonary, liver and kidney disease,

  • Endocrine disorders

  • Neurological issues

  • Patients requiring anesthesia for emergency procedures.

They are also trained in regional anesthesia techniques using ultrasound guidance and electro-location, improving the effectiveness of these techniques for many procedures including orthopedic, oral, abdominal and thoracic surgery.

Each anesthetized patient is assigned to an experienced veterinary technician, under the guidance of the anesthesiologist, who is dedicated to the pet’s anesthetic care, monitoring, and recovery. They observe a wide array of parameters using state-of-the-art monitoring equipment to measure levels of oxygen, blood pressure, respiratory patterns and the activity of the heart. Our hospital prioritizes preparation among our team members to promptly recognize and intervene in the rare event of an anesthetic complication. After the procedure, our veterinary team will monitor your pet closely to ensure a smooth, pain-free recovery.

Your Pet is in the Best Hands

Please take comfort in knowing your pet will be well cared for if he or she requires general anesthesia at Massachusetts Veterinary Referral Hospital. In addition to our knowledgeable staff, we provide the warm, compassionate care that we would desire for our own pets. From the moment your pet enters the hospital until the time of discharge, our entire team is dedicated to eliminating any stress, anxiety, and discomfort during their stay.

We are here to support you. No patient is too old or too complicated for anesthesia. Rarely, they may be too ill, however in these cases, we can help guide decision-making for these patients.

Meet Our Anesthesiologist