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“It may work well for nine out of 10 patients, which is why they use it,” she says.“They refer that 10th patient to us.” Fraser, the general practice vet, refers her patients with advanced cardiac and lung disease to Tufts, because anesthesia stresses those systems.“If you are conscious and very dehydrated, you will faint, which brings your head level with your heart,” making it easier for blood to get to the brain, Karas says.Your kidneys will retain fluid to boost blood volume. It can no longer direct your body to make such accommodations.When people undergo surgery, there’s an anesthesiologist in the OR whose only job is to manage the patient on the table.

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Once the animal is relaxed, the anesthesiologist or a supervised veterinary technician will insert an intravenous catheter and inject a drug, often propofol, a short-acting anesthetic also used in human medicine, to render the pet unconscious.“I feel more comfortable having an animal like that anesthetized where you have [a board-certified veterinary anesthesiologist] standing by with a more advanced arsenal of drugs that can keep its blood pressure where we want it to be.” At Tufts, anesthesiologists make adjustments in their protocols depending on a pet’s age and health condition, says Mc Cobb.“We don’t do one-size-fits-all anesthesia here.” Many dogs and cats have heart murmurs that have never posed a problem, but “if those pets are going to have anesthesia, we want to investigate that further,” Mc Cobb says.Have you been avoiding getting your pet regular dental care? Most pet owners understand that in animals—just as in people—good oral health is conducive to overall well-being, says Gillian Fraser, V00, who practices in Northborough, Mass.Still, she says, some clients don’t heed her advice, because they’re afraid their pet will not survive the anesthesia.

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