Anesthesia: Standard of Care
At our clinic, we often get questions regarding pricing for anesthetic procedures. Specifically, most owners want to know why we charge more than some area non-profit organizations. Besides being a privately-owned small business that cannot fundraise to offset costs, we practice a high-level standard of care when it comes to anesthetizing your cat. It is possible that a less expensive facility may do everything that we do, but the important thing is to ask. You want to make sure you understand what you are getting and what might be different. When you call around to compare prices, be sure to ask about the following safe guards.
- Pre-anesthetic Exam: Every patient will have a complete examination the morning of their procedure. This allows us to catch any changes that may have occurred since we saw them last. Things can change day by day. There are times where we have postponed a procedure because of a new finding discovered during the exam.
- Pre-anesthetic Blood Testing: All cats undergoing anesthesia will have testing done prior to anesthesia. This ensures that your kitty is as healthy as possible for their procedure. Based on the results, we may alter our anesthetic plan or postpone a procedure to ensure anesthesia is done as safely as possible. For example, a cat with diagnosed kidney disease will receive IV fluids before and after their procedure to help protect their kidney function.
- Multimodal Anesthesia: The benefits of multimodal, or balanced, anesthesia, is well documented in human and companion animal medicine. The goal of anesthesia is to provide pain control, unconsciousness, and immobility during a potentially painful procedure. Multimodal anesthesia uses drug combinations to help reduce side effects while still providing a well-balanced anesthesia for the patient.
- IV Catheter: At The Cat Hospital of Media, we place an IV catheter for every anesthetic procedure. This allows us to give fluids during the procedure, and in case of emergency, we have immediate access to give life saving drugs.
- IV Fluids: IV fluids are important during anesthesia to help keep blood pressure normal and keep our patients hydrated. Anesthesia can alter the fluid dynamics in the body, so it is important to provide fluids during anesthetic procedures.
- Intubation: As part of our multimodal approach to anesthesia, all patients are intubated and receive inhaled anesthetic gas (isoflurane). This also gives us immediate access to the airways in case of an emergency. In addition, the endotracheal tube protects the airways during a dental procedure.
- Heat support: All cats under anesthesia receive heat support to regulate body temperature.
- Monitoring: The most important part of monitoring an anesthetized patient is a dedicated, trained technician. For every anesthetic procedure, your cat will have a technician from the start of anesthesia and through recovery, monitoring their parameters. This allows the doctor to concentrate on the surgery. Our technicians use many pieces of equipment to make sure your cat is safe during anesthesia.
- Blood pressure- We use a blood pressure monitor for every procedure. The anesthetics used to sedate people and animals can cause significant drops in blood pressure. If undetected, this can have serious consequences in a patient. By consistently monitoring your cat’s blood pressure, and looking for trends, we can intervene before there is a concern.
- Pulse Oximetry- We monitor your cat’s oxygenation level continuously.
- Capnograph- This allows us to monitor the level of carbon dioxide exhaled and lets us know quickly if there is a concern with hypoxia (low oxygen).
- ECG- An ECG allows us to monitor your cat’s heart rate and rhythm.
- Dedicated Surgery Space: Our second floor has a surgery room and dental procedure area. The surgery room is used only for sterile surgical procedures. Only one surgery is done at a time. Surgeons are required to wear a cap, mask, gloves, and sterile surgical gown for surgery. The technician will also wear a cap and mask while monitoring anesthesia. Dentistry is done in a separate area from sterile surgical procedures.
The Cat Hospital of Media is an AAHA Accredited hospital. We follow stringent guidelines for anesthesia and surgery and only 12% of veterinary hospitals have this accreditation. If you have any questions regarding your cat’s procedure, please reach out to our technicians or veterinarians. We are happy to answer your questions.