The Anesthesiology Service at the 404 Veterinary Emergency and Referral Hospital provides comprehensive care for our patients that require surgery or diagnostics under heavy sedation or anesthesia. Our specialized team is dedicated to providing exceptional care before, during and after their procedure. Each patient is carefully evaluated, and their anesthetic protocol is tailored to their specific needs, based on their health conditions, personality, level of pain and many other factors. We do our best to minimize risks and ensure our patients are as comfortable as possible during their hospital stay, using the latest in technology to help monitor and treat them.

Our specialized staff is highly trained, and all sedated or anesthetized cases are overseen by one of our board-certified anesthesiologists, who work alongside each of our departments. We also provide telephone consultation to local general practitioners in dealing with both routine and urgent matters.

For more information on the American College of Veterinary Anesthesia and Analgesia, please here.


Using sophisticated LifeWindow monitors, our patient's vital parameters are continuously monitored during surgery by a technician whose sole job is monitoring that pet. Vital parameters measured include blood pressure, heart rate & rhythm, blood oxygenation, capnography and body temperature. For particularly critical patients, a catheter may be placed directly into an artery to give moment-to-moment changes in blood pressure and to allow blood to be taken for oxygen analysis using our NOVA blood gas analyzer.
Our Equipment

Our anesthesia machines and monitors allow us to support our patients under anesthesia and provide a top level of care among veterinary hospitals. We have recently acquired state-of-the-art Penlon anesthesia ventilators to help support our patients' breathing and perform more advanced ventilation techniques, including positive end-end expiratory pressure and pressure support ventilation.

Our specialist veterinarians are familiar with a wide variety of techniques to enhance our patients' comfort during and after their procedure. This can include epidural or spinal blocks where a local anesthetic is given next to the spinal cord to provide pain relief and muscle relaxation. Other techniques using an ultrasound and nerve stimulator needle may be applied to provide precise and long-lasting analgesia. Following their procedure, patients are closely monitored by the ICU team to assess their level of comfort and provide pain medication when it's needed.
For Advanced Cases

Our anesthesia staff are highly trained and include 3 board-certified anesthesiologists with a wide variety of experiences in critical and emergency cases. Our doctors will assess your pet and come up with a treatment plan that's unique to their personal health needs. Where needed, advanced techniques will be used to support your pet, including total or partial intravenous anesthesia, arterial catheterization, locoregional nerve blocks, autologous blood transfusion and more. Some examples of the patients we see include patients with heart disease, arrhythmias, respiratory disease including asthma or chronic bronchitis, cancer of the chest or abdomen, clotting disorders, anemia and many others. We will do our best to minimize the risk and communicate with your veterinarian to keep you informed of what the risks and benefits are in your pet's specific case.
What happens when your pet undergoes anesthesia?

    1. Prior to anesthesia, your pet will undergo a physical examination, and some special tests may be ordered. Pre-anesthetic tests help us assess the overall health of the patient and may include many of the same tests that a person may have prior to anesthesia, such as blood work, radiographs, and ECG.

    2. After careful examination of the patient, the record, and the laboratory results, an anesthetic protocol is planned.

    3. Once the protocol is approved, the patient is brought to the anesthesia holding area for observation and pre-medication. Patients are observed continuously while the pre-medication is taking effect.

    4. Once adequately sedated, an intravenous catheter is aseptically placed into a leg vein to allow administration of intravenous anesthetic drugs, analgesic drugs, intravenous fluids, and drugs that support the cardiovascular system while the patient is under anesthesia.

    5. The patient is pre-oxygenated, and drugs to induce a state of general anesthesia and analgesia are administered intravenously.

    6. Once the patient is under anesthesia, a tube is placed in the trachea (windpipe) to allow the administration of oxygen and anesthetic agent to maintain a state of general anesthesia. Many of the drugs that are used on your pet during anesthesia are the same drugs that humans receive during anesthesia!

    7. If special techniques for analgesia are required, these are usually performed at this time. Your pet may have more areas of shaved hair than you would expect if special analgesic techniques, such as epidural analgesia, are performed!

    8. During anesthesia, the status of the animal is constantly monitored. Careful observation and recording of body temperature, heart rate, heart rhythm, blood pressure, respiratory rate, and depth of breathing occurs from pre-medication until the end of recovery.
      Monitoring and supportive care of patients undergoing anesthesia in the VTH is similar to the monitoring and supportive care that people receive in a human hospital!

    9. During recovery, your pet will be monitored continuously until he/she is completely conscious and body temperature, blood pressure, heart rate, and respiratory rate have returned to normal. Your pet is also monitored closely for signs of post-operative pain, and treated as required. Your pet should be monitored closely for several days for normal return of appetite, water intake, urination, and defecation.

    10. It is normal for your pet to be moderately sedate if he or she is sent home the day of the anesthetic episode. If your pet is still look sedated the day after anesthesia, or is not eating, drinking, urinating, or defecating normally, you should call the VTH or your veterinarian!

Our Anesthesiology Team

Looking for The Referral Form?

Loading... Please wait