Anaesthesia and Sedation

When your pet is admitted for a procedure, sedation or anaesthesia will likely be required. Your veterinarian will let you know if this is the case.

Your veterinarian and nursing team can answer any questions regarding anaesthesia or sedation. Here, we'd like to preempt any questions you may have about the risks and how we do our utmost to manage them. 

Surgery can be a major event in any pet or human life and should be taken very seriously. All surgeries, even “routine” ones, do carry some risk. This document aims to inform you on how we minimise the risks and allows you to provide informed consent for your pet’s procedure.

Risk: Complications from Pre-existing Underlying Disease

Underlying pre-existing disease is not always obvious. We obtain a detailed history upon admission, and our vets will perform an exam of your pet before surgery to check for fever, heart and lung problems, and any other signs of illness or concerns. This also allows us to tailor our anaesthetic plan and address other issues (retained baby teeth, skin disease, heart problems, etc.) accordingly.


We strongly recommend pre-anaesthetic blood testing for all pets, especially those over the age of 7 or those who may be ill. These diagnostic tests can warn us about liver, kidney, or blood disorders that may not be detected during a physical examination. The results of these tests may influence how the anaesthetic is approached and/or medications used.

  • For younger animals being desexed, this may be optional on the estimate you have received.
  • For older pets or pets who live with comorbidities, this will be included in your estimate as standard or at the veterinarian's discretion.

Risk: Blood Pressure and Blood Volume Maintenance

Many sedative and anaesthetic agents will cause a drop in blood pressure. As surgeons, we aim to minimise blood loss, however, it is inevitable in any surgery involving the removal of an organ or mass.

Management Strategy: INTRAVENOUS FLUIDS

Intravenous fluids are administered during every general anaesthetic procedure in accordance with best practice. They assist in maintaining blood pressure, protecting kidney function, and allow for a smooth and rapid recovery. This will be included on your estimate.

Risk: Pain

The amount of pain a patient will experience is individual and related to the procedure that is being performed.


All our patients receive pain relief before their procedure. Pain relief in the post-operative period and to be given at home will be included in the estimate. We utilise a variety of pain management strategies to ensure optimal comfort for your pet.

Risk: Regurgitation

For most dogs and cats, limiting the risk of regurgitation whilst under sedation or general anaesthesia is crucial as it can result in aspiration pneumonia.

Management Strategy: FASTING

Our guidelines for fasting are as follows:

  • For dogs and cats: Please fast from 10 pm the previous evening. Do not withhold water.
  • Other species (rabbits, guinea pigs, ferrets, birds): Do not fast
  • Diabetic or paediatric (less than 16 weeks) patients: Discuss with the veterinarian

Risk: Infection


Major surgeries are performed in a closed-off, dedicated operating room. Dental procedures are performed in a dedicated dental suite. In theatre, staff wear a cap, mask, and sterile surgical gown for each surgery. We use a newly sterilized surgical pack for each surgery patient. We also have a variety of oral and injectable antibiotics to use when indicated.

Management Strategy: CLIPPING OF FUR

To collect blood samples and ensure sterile intravenous access, patches of fur will be clipped. The site and amount of fur clipped will vary depending on the procedure undertaken and the animal's requirements. For sterile surgeries, the site will be clipped and prepared according to our clinic protocols.

By providing consent for your pet's procedure, you agree that your animal's fur will be clipped to any extent required for their procedure.

Risk: Emergencies

In an emergency, we will take all necessary actions to resolve the problem and notify you as soon as possible. We will use off-label medicine when we deem it appropriate.

What is best for you and your pet is best for us, too.

We will always do our utmost to care for your pet and to prevent adverse outcomes.