Every veterinary hospital monitors differently during anesthesia, but here are all of the important parameters we closely watch while your pet is under anesthesia.
–ECG: This detects heart rate and rhythm and allows us to catch changes before the heart rate drops dangerously low or abnormal heart rhythms compromise blood flow.
–Oxygen: Also known as SPO2. This, along with respiratory rate, lets us know your pet is getting plenty of oxygen to keep their heart and all of their other important organs functioning normally.
–Blood Pressure: Anesthesia has the potential to lower blood pressure greatly, especially when higher doses are needed when pain is not adequately controlled. It is critical to monitor this as blood pressure that drops too low for too long can cause permanent damage to organs like the kidneys that may show up months or years down the road.
–Temperature: Special warming blankets and fluid warmers are used on every pet during anesthesia, but closely monitoring temperature is quite important to make sure your pet is not getting too cold due to their slower metabolism while under anesthesia.
–Capnograph: This extra form of monitoring helps the veterinarian keep track of how much carbon dioxide is being expelled, retained or breathed back in for every patient. It can also offer some insight into breathing patterns while our patients are under anesthesia. Subtle changes can alert the doctor early to problems that may lead to respiratory distress or tissue damage and help the doctor correct an issue before it even arises.