Veterinarians anaesthetise animals on a daily basis. At least once per week in any clinic, a pet owner expresses concern about anaesthesia: is it safe? Will my pet survive the procedure?
Modern anaesthesia is very safe. The risk of a pet dying under anaesthesia is less than 0.01%. The rare patients that are lost under anaesthesia are generally emergency surgeries, when the patient’s condition is extremely critical. The risk of a pet dying under anaesthesia while undergoing a routine spay, neuter, dental or mass removal is extremely low, but this risk can be affected by the anaesthetic drugs used and the monitoring of the patient.
Can you imagine an anaesthesiologist in a human hospital using Ether or Chloroform in the 21st century? Of course not. But, unfortunately (and surprisingly,) there are no standards of care for veterinary anaesthesia, and some clinics are still using out-of-date techniques. Here is a list of questions to ask your veterinarian the next time your pet is scheduled for an anaesthetic event: