General Anaesthesia

(Surgery & Radiography) for Cats & Dogs No food after midnight, the previous evening, although water is allowed overnight. Please arrive just after 8am. Please toilet your pet prior to arrival.

We understand that even the most minor operation may cause you considerable anxiety.  We shall keep you involved all the way and we assure you that we shall give your pet individual and caring attention.

The Consent Form

We shall ask you, or an authorised adult, for written permission to perform the operation on your pet. We make time to guide you through the consent form so that we can explain any terms that you do not understand or are worried about.  Some optional extras such as the pre-anaesthetic bloods and the intravenous fluids are discussed below.

We ask you to come in before the date of operation, so we can ensure you fully understand the consent form and give you time to ask any questions you may have.  You may request a financial estimate at this appointment, either printed or verbal.

Pre-Anaesthetic Blood Sample

Some problems cannot be determined by physical examination alone and we have the facility to perform a pre anaesthetic blood screen to determine whether there is damage to the liver or kidney function. We have a modern blood analyser and results are available within 15 minutes, allowing any adjustments to be made in the anaesthetic protocol.   We would strongly recommend this for older patients or ones who have a pre-existing illness.

Fluid Therapy

As is routine in human hospitals, we can provide intravenous fluid support (a drip) for our patients. We believe this benefits all pets and allows them to make a stronger and speedier recovery.  Although all patients would benefit from this, we would strongly recommend this for older patients or ones with a pre-existing illness.

The Kennels

We allocate each pet an individual kennel. The kennels are warm and sound insulated and each has a lightweight polyester fleece for warmth and comfort. All animals are within sight of the nursing team, allowing prompt intervention, if required.  For all pets, we give them a heat pad to ensure their body temperature stays constant throughout the operation.

Before the Operation

Prior to the administration of the premedication & anaesthetic, we shall weigh and examine your pet thoroughly to establish whether there are any pre existing problems which might have influence over methods and materials used.


Anaesthesia works by causing unconsciousness, relaxing muscles and blocking pain.  At A+G Vets, we use a premedication prior to surgery, which include analgesia (painkiller) and a drug which reduces anxiety.  This ensures that the patients are more comfortable both during and after their operation.

Once the premedication has been given time to work (usually 20 minutes), we use an injectable anaesthetic agent, called propofol, to induce anaesthesia.  This drug travels directly through the bloodstream to the brain, to cause unconsciousness.  Propofol is a short acting injectable anaesthetic which requires an inhalation anaesthetic to keep the patient asleep.

Inhalation anaesthetics are gases that are inhaled into the lung and absorbed into the bloodstream, then travel up to the brain, keeping the patient asleep.  We use sevoflurane as our inhalation agent, which enters & exits the body rapidly, allowing excellent control of the anaesthetic.

During the Operation

Following induction of anaesthesia, all surgical cases are intubated to protect their airway and maintained via a gas anaesthetic system, featuring sevoflurane and oxygen.  Occasionally, after the operation this can cause the patient to develop a little cough, which will resolve on its own.

All anaesthetised patients are monitored throughout, by the qualified vet nurse under the constant supervision of the operating surgeon.

All patients have their own set of operating drapes and instruments. There is never reuse of drapes or instruments without them having been cleaned ultrasonically, packed and sterilised in our autoclave.

After the Operation

We ask you to phone the surgery, usually between 12-1pm, for an update on the surgery and to arrange a discharge appointment.  Usually at this point, we have a good idea when you pet will be ready to go home, but we may ask you to phone back after lunch if your pet is still too sleepy to determine an appointment time.

We will give you an appointment time, to allow the vet or nurse to discuss the operation fully.  Please use this time to ask any questions which you may have, so that you understand your role in the post-op care.

Before discharging your pet, we ensure that they are up on their feet, have eaten a small meal and have been out for a short walk.   If your pet has not eaten, then we will advise you of this.

We require patients to come back for a post operation check, usually 2-3 days later, although occasionally we may need to see them back the following day.

Care of surgical wounds

Wounds do not normally require any attention except for you preventing your pet licking excessively at the wound, or removing the stitches. We provide a clear, plastic buster collar and we would recommendthat your pet wears it at all times. We have to make a charge for re suturing wounds, often involving another anaesthetic, if stitches have been lost as a result of a lack of supervision.

We also recommend lead exercise only, for a minimum of ten days, until the stitches are removed.  Over-exercise will lead to a fluid filled swelling around the wound, which may require to be drained.

Stitches out

We normally remove stitches after ten days, although we may advise that they stay in longer, depending on the size or position of the wound. Occasionally, there may be a need for intra-dermal sutures – these are dissolving sutures and do not need to be removed.  We may also use a special tissue glue which does not need to be removed, as it will disappear naturally over time.

Contacting us if you are worried – out of hours.

When your pet is discharged, you will receive instruction as how to receive advice during the evening.  We have 24 hour out of hour emergency care, which you are able to contact by calling the surgery to obtain the relevant emergency mobile number.

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Contact us

If you would like to contact us, please use the details below.

Emergencies Out of Hours Call 01324 815888