Anesthesia: Surgery and Dental

Veterinary Anesthesia for Dental & Pet Surgeries

dental surgery & anesthesia

If your pet is having any sort of invasive treatment or invasive surgery, or if he is undergoing dental treatment, he will almost certainly require anesthesia. Here is what you need to know about pet anesthesia during surgery and dental procedures.


What is anesthesia and how does it work?

Anesthesia refers to a type of medication that is given with the purpose of preventing the patient – in this case your pet – from experiencing pain. There are two types of anesthesia. These are known as local and general.


Local anesthetic works by stopping the nerves in a part of your body that sends signals to your brain. It is called local because it only works on a certain part of your pet’s body – the area being targeted for a procedure. It usually only takes a few minutes for your pet to lose feeling in the target area, although he may still experience sensations of numbness and pressure when the procedure is being carried out. The inability to experience pain usually lasts for a few hours, and once it wears off, your pet will feel completely back to normal. Your pet won’t lose consciousness and will be fully aware throughout the procedure. A local anesthetic is usually recommended for minor procedures such as minimally-invasive surgeries.


General anesthetic also works by interrupting nerve signals in your pet’s brain and body. However, it is a much stronger medicine and actually prevents your pet’s brain from processing pain in any part of his body, and from remembering what happened during his surgery. This means that he will be unconscious throughout and will have no memory between being given anesthetic and waking up in recovery.


General anesthesia is considered essential for some surgical procedures where it is safer and more comfortable for your pet to be unconscious. However, there are more risks associated with general anesthesia than the local variety. These will be discussed with you ahead of your pet’s procedure so that you are fully aware of them. Your pet will generally be recommended to have a general anesthetic for invasive surgeries and most types of a dental procedure.


Why is general anesthetic recommended for pets who need dental treatment?

Not all dental treatments require invasive surgery. However, as you might imagine, any procedure that brings your veterinarians hands into close proximity to your pet’s teeth is considered high-risk. You may have the best-behaved pet in the world, but he will not understand the importance of holding his mouth open or remaining completely still. There is a risk to your pet too, since the tools used in dentistry are very small and often sharp, and the slightest movement could mean that your vet accidentally damages his mouth.


As a result, it is generally considered much safer for both the patient and vet for animals requiring dental treatment to have a general anesthetic.


Is general anesthetic safe?

Many owners understandably have concerns about the use of general anesthesia in pets. However, when the anesthesia is delivered by trained, experienced professionals, you can rest assured that your pet is in safe hands. Firstly, your pet will have a comprehensive assessment ahead of his procedure, so that your vet can be certain that the risks to his health are minimal. In addition to this, he will be closely monitored for the duration of the time he is under the effects of the general anesthetic so that if he were to experience an adverse reaction, he could be bought round from the medication immediately.



We are delighted to be able to offer a comprehensive anesthesia service for minor and major surgeries as well as dental treatment. To find out more, please contact our veterinary hospital in East Roswell, GA today.