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Minimizing the Risks of Anesthesia in Dogs


Anesthesia is like any medical procedure—there are benefits and risks, and death can occur under anesthesia. Approximately one in 1,000 healthy cats and one in 2,000 healthy dogs die under anesthesia each year. While any anesthetic-related deaths are unacceptable, these incidence rates are actually quite low. But of course, there’s still plenty of room for improvement. One of the reasons we still see deaths related to anesthetic procedures is because not all practices are actively taking all of the steps necessary to reduce anesthetic risk.

This article will help you understand the process of anesthesia, and empower you to ask the important questions of your pet’s medical team to help minimize your pet’s anesthetic risk.

The Anesthetic Process

Anesthesia occurs in several steps, with opportunities at each step to minimize risks for your pet.  Below I present a simple outline of the steps involved in anesthesia. 

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Topics: anesthesia free teeth cleaning for dogs, pet dental services, pet dental, Anesthesia, Pain management, Surgery

Photo Credit: Preventive Vet

Please do not ask emergency or other specific medical questions about your pets in the blog comments. As an online informational resource, Preventive Vet is unable to and does not provide specific medical advice or counseling. A thorough physical exam, patient history, and an established veterinary-patient-client relationship is required to provide specific medical advice. If you are worried that your pet is having an emergency or if you have specific medical questions related to your pet’s current or chronic medical conditions, please contact or visit your veterinarian, an animal-specific poison control hotline, or your local emergency veterinary care center.

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