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Port City Veterinary Referral Hospital

Black and orange cat in a box with the lid half off

Anesthesia & Pain Management

General anesthesia is very safe, our anesthesiology and pain management team take a customized approach to alleviate pain and reduce risks associated with anesthesia in pets of all ages.

At Port City, ensuring the safety and comfort of our patients is essential. General anesthesia is necessary for CT scans, endoscopy and ophthalmic procedures, and surgery. With appropriate monitoring, the overall risk of general anesthesia in our healthy veterinary patients is very low (less than 1% in recent studies).

The anesthesia and pain management team at Port City offers individualized anesthesia planning for every patient who will undergo sedation or anesthesia at our hospital. Prior to anesthesia, the doctor will perform a complete physical examination. Depending on your pet’s age and health, our veterinarian may recommend an electrocardiogram and blood pressure to assess heart function, as well as laboratory tests to determine the health of organs such as the liver and kidneys. The doctor will evaluate all pre-anesthetic tests and determine the best anesthetic drugs for your individual pet, as well as any special measures that would benefit that patient. In most cases, the veterinarian will use a combination of medications, including a sedative, several pain relievers, and a general anesthetic. Whenever possible, locoregional anesthesia techniques, such as nerve blocks and epidurals, are incorporated into each pet’s pain management plan. Such techniques hasten the return to regular activity, provide the best pain control following surgery, and allow us to use lower doses of other medications.

Our Anesthesia Team

Overseeing the anesthesia service is Dr. Pittman (practice limited to anesthesia and analgesia), who works with the entire Port City team to ensure a safe and comfortable anesthetic for your pet. Under Dr. Pittman’s guidance, each patient undergoing anesthesia is assigned to an experienced veterinary technician dedicated to the pet’s anesthetic care, monitoring, and recovery. Skilled and knowledgeable veterinary technicians observe a wide array of parameters using state-of-the-art monitoring equipment to measure oxygen level, blood pressure, respiratory patterns, and heart activity. Our hospital prioritizes preparation among our team members to promptly recognize and intervene in the rare event of an anesthetic complication. After the procedure, our veterinary team will monitor your pet closely to ensure a smooth, pain-free recovery.

Older patients and patients with complicated medical conditions and histories can still receive sedation and anesthesia at Port City.

Dr. Pittman has advanced training in ultrasound-guided locoregional anesthesia techniques, which is the standard of care in human medicine, as well as extensive experience anesthetizing with a variety of diseases and co-morbidities, including:

  • Cardiovascular, pulmonary, liver, and kidney disease

  • Endocrine disorders

  • Neurological issues

  • Trauma

Your Pet is in the Best Hands

You can take comfort in knowing your pet will be well cared for if he or she requires general anesthesia at Port City Veterinary Referral Hospital. In addition to our knowledgeable staff, we provide the warm, compassionate care we would want for our own pets. From the moment your pet enters the hospital until discharge, our team is dedicated to managing and reducing their stress, anxiety, and discomfort.

If you have questions about anesthesia or would like to speak with Dr. Pittman, please alert the primary clinician overseeing your pet’s care. Dr. Pittman is happy to ease any concerns regarding your pet’s anesthesia.

Our Anesthesia & Pain Management Team