Anaesthesia + Analgesia
Many of the animals that visit The Ralph will need investigations (e.g. a CT or MRI scan), operations, or other procedures. We need our patients to be still to perform these as safely and effectively as possible. Sometimes we can achieve this using sedation alone. But often our patients will need general anaesthesia under which they lose consciousness, relax and do not feel pain. Besides general (whole body) anaesthesia, we can also provide more targeted anaesthesia to smaller areas. We refer to this as local or regional anaesthesia.
We understand that pet carers worry about their companions having a general anaesthetic. This is especially so when the animal is older, very sick or has an existing condition such as heart disease. Modern veterinary anaesthesia is very safe but, of course, not risk free. At The Ralph we will do everything we can to minimise the risks.
Under the guidance of our specialist anaesthetist, Eva, we offer the latest techniques to ensure first class care. Eva will review the patient’s medical history and perform a pre-anaesthetic examination. She will then create a tailored anaesthetic protocol. Once we have anaesthetised the patient, we watch them very closely. Sophisticated monitoring equipment supplements close attention by our experienced team. We keep a detailed record for every patient. This includes the drug protocol used and their vital parameters (e.g. heart rate, breathing, temperature) throughout their anaesthetic. This close attention continues during recovery until the patient is fully awake.
We have a range of state of the art anaesthetic machines at The Ralph. In our surgical theatres, the anaesthetic machines have a built-in ventilator. This allows us to breathe for patients who cannot breathe well enough on their own which can occur for various reasons.
Analgesia means ‘loss of pain sensation’. Virtually every patient that we sedate or anaesthetise receives pain relief according to their individual needs. This is often started soon after admission and continued throughout their stay as well as following discharge. There are a variety of pain-killers (analgesics) available for use in dogs and cats. Eva can also perform procedures such as epidurals and nerve blocks. She helps to ensure that all patients under the care of The Ralph are as comfortable as they can be.
Our Anaesthesia + Analgesia service is a core service at The Ralph. It supports many of the other clinical services to provide excellent and compassionate care.