A Peek Behind the Scenes: Anesthetics

Anesthetic protocols have changed a lot over the years. Twenty years ago, the standard of care in veterinary medicine for surgical sedation was ketamine and telazol, depending on the species.


Over the last decade and a half, we have moved to a more advanced set of anesthetic protocols. For non-surgical levels of sedation we typically use dexdomitor, which is a reversible sedative and is ideal for usage in dentistry, radiography, or bathing (of high-anxiety dogs or cats) where the level of sedation needed is lower. Because the sedation is reversible, it can even be used for dogs that have extreme anxiety when getting their nails trimmed. Patients typically come back to full consciousness within 2-10 minutes of being administered the reversal.

For surgical purposes, we have developed a combo drug that delivers pain relief, a deep and consistent level of sedation, and has low incidence of post surgical side effects like vomiting. We use this combo in conjunction with gas anesthesia to keep your pet safely sedated through a surgery, and are able to perform and release most routine surgeries the same day. Same day surgeries means less anxiety for your pet, and less anxiety for you.

Probably every veterinarian has a story for why they practice medicine in the way that they do. The veterinarian responsible for the development of our anesthetic protocol tells a story about having an appendectomy in the 1950’s. He said that the doctors were looming over him to administer the gas and, all in all, it was a traumatic experience. That’s why we generally focus on injectable anesthetics, with a preference for anesthetics that have amnesiac properties… so your pet experiences little to no anxiety and all he or she remembers are the fun parts of our hospital (like getting treats!).