Anesthesia

There is an inherent risk in any anesthetic procedure but here at Encina Veterinary Hospital we do everything possible to minimize that risk by following a proactive protocol. Every patient that comes to Encina Veterinary Hospital is medically assessed and their anesthetic protocol is based on that assessment done by our doctors and our anesthetic veterinary technician specialist.

Patients receive pre-operative testing prior to the anesthetic procedure. A physical exam is conducted, blood work is performed and medical history is taken into account when developing your pets’ anesthetic protocol. Your veterinarian and our anesthetic veterinary technician specialist then reviews the information and creates a customized plan for your pet.


Our anesthetic protocol includes pre-operative pain management to ensure the comfort of your pet during the intra operative and post operative period. The medications used to induce anesthesia are also discussed at this time and are based on the initial exam, blood work and medical history of your pet. After a protocol is developed, your pet will then be put under for its anesthetic procedure.

While under anesthesia, each patient has its oxygen level, carbon dioxide level, blood pressure, temperature and heart rate monitored by our licensed veterinary technicians who undergo intensive training by our anesthetic veterinary technician specialist.

Recovery occurs in our Intensive Care Unit (ICU) where the patient is carefully monitored post-op for any possible adverse reactions and discomfort. If any discomfort is noted, patients receive additional pain medications best suited to their post operative surgical requirements. Patients are evaluated by our nursing team and doctors to ensure that your pet receives personalized pain-management around the clock.

Common procedures such as spay and neuter, most dental cleanings and extractions go home the same day. However, there are certain surgical procedures that require overnight (sometimes more than one night) of hospitalization to ensure your pet receives optimal care and pain management. A few procedures that might require extensive stay here at Encina Veterinary Hospital are: limb amputations, thoracotomies (open chest surgery), pericardiectomies (open heart surgery), gall bladder and spleen removals.

Once your pet is ready to go home, the doctor will discuss pain management options best suited for you and your pet. These options may include multiple medications to alleviate discomfort or pain the patient may be experiencing. Several ways to easily determine if their pain is controlled: 1) gently touching around the incision with minimal to no reaction, 2) pet should not be pacing, whimpering, continuously standing or biting/licking the incision, 3) eating and drinking should not have any severe changes (depending on medical history). When your pet is finally settled at home with their pain management plan, he or she may be experiencing post-operative fatigue; this is similar to what people go through after a surgical procedure.

If you feel that the medications are not working out for your pet or you have any questions or concerns, please NEVER hesitate to call us: (925) 937-5000. We are open 24 hours, 7 days a week.