If your dog is going to have a treatment the type of anesthetics the veterinarian uses depends on the treatment your dog is having done. To help you understand, below are two types of anesthetics available to veterinarians so you can understand a little of what is going to happen with your dog. Your veterinarian can, of course, go over this information with you in detail but it can still help to learn about it before you take your dog into treatment. This can help you feel a little more at ease about your dog's procedure.
If your dog is having a specific location treated on their body the doctor may use a local anesthetic. This may be giving them an epidural before you dog has surgery on a rear leg, or they may have a nerve block if they are having a tooth extracted.
The anesthetic works by blocking nerve impulses that come from the brain. Along with the anesthetic, the veterinarian may also give your dog a sedative to help keep them still and calm while they are having the procedure.
Depending on the procedure, your dog may receive a local anesthetic before they have surgery to decrease the amount of anesthetic that is needed to keep your dog asleep.
Lidocaine is often used as the type of anesthetic. It generally lasts only a few hours. Your veterinarian may not use lidocaine if your dog has liver disease or a heart condition, however.
If your dog is having surgery and needs to be completely unconscious the veterinarian will use general anesthesia via a veterinary anesthesia machine. This will block the pain signals that come from the brain which not only prevent your dog from feeling any pain, but also keeps them relaxed and asleep.
Your dog can only be unconscious for a certain amount of time. How long this is depends on your dog's size, age, and their health. A short acting barbiturate would be used as the anesthetic for a short procedure, such as suturing a wound. The barbiturate is injected into a vein and your dog will be unconscious in a few minutes.
There is also gas anesthesia that can make your dog go unconscious. The anesthetic given will be administer by placing a mask over your dog's snout. The veterinarian can also administer the gas by placing a tube in your dog's trachea.
Talk with your veterinarian if you have any questions about this.