How Anesthesia Is Managed In The Field Of Veterinarians

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Anesthesia is used when veterinarians perform surgery on animals. Anesthesia is used on a larger range of medical issues on animals than if they were people because animals are not able to cooperate with the veterinarian when they need to perform therapeutic or diagnostic procedures on them. All the major species have had anesthesia used on them including dogs, cats, pigs, sheep, cows, birds, and goats. It has also been used on wildlife such as animals that have been hit by a car and need surgery. 

How anesthesia on animals is governed is explained on this Wikipedia page. In North America, it is the American College of Veterinary Anesthesia and Analgesia (ACVAA) that is the organization that manages this area of medicine. Veterinarians that want to become a member of this professional organization need to have one or more years of experience in a clinical setting as well as three years of training by doing an anesthesia residency. They also need to have published a peer-reviewed research article in a scientific publication and have successfully completed both an oral and written examination. 

Veterinary anesthesia systems include a qualified technician because studies have shown that having one attending a surgery is safer for the animal. While the veterinarian performs a surgical procedure on the animal the technician both administers the anesthesia and monitors the animal while they are out. These technicians are licensed by the North American Veterinary Technician Association. The technicians need to have more than 6,000 hours of veterinary medicine experience with 3/4ths of that specifically involving anesthesia. They also need another 40 hours of continuing education about anesthesia, pass a written test, and demonstrate their anesthesia skills. 

A veterinarian uses anesthesia when performing surgeries because they need the animal to be immobile. They also want the animal to be unaware of surgery being performed on them and not in any pain. They will use anesthesia on any type of aggressive animal that needs its blood drawn or needs to be physically examined. Anesthesia is used on exotic animals that people keep as pets for even simple procedures because these animals are not domesticated and so can have unpredictable reactions. 

As this article relates veterinarians often use the same types of tools and medical equipment that is used by doctors treating people. They will use the same surgical tools on an anesthetized animal, stethoscopes, and the same types of diagnostic equipment such as ultrasound machines, MRI machines, and x-rays. 

When treating an animal, veterinarians also use antiseptics, especially during surgery. This includes anti-bacterial soaps and additional antiseptics as needed. It’s a fact of life working in a veterinary office that being bitten or scratched is going to happen on a pretty regular basis. They also keep both over the counter and prescription drugs in their offices. There is no such thing as pharmacies for animals and so the solution is to keep these drugs on-premises and locked up. Veterinarians will keep enough medicines and vaccines on hand to fulfill their day to day needs.

 

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