Hopefully, as a cat owner, you don’t have to have your cat have surgery or any other major procedure. But that will not always be the case. This can happen if your cat needs surgery, teeth work, or something else to do. An anesthetic may be used to ensure the cat is not in pain and remains calm during the procedure.
It’s important to know what side effects anesthesia can have in cats, how your veterinarian can help your cat avoid them, and what risks your cat might face. The more you know, the easier it will be for you to decide whether to have the procedure done.
Types of Anesthesia
Veterinarians use two types of narcotics: injectable and inhalation narcotics. Injectable anesthetics are divided into the following groups:
- Dissociative Narcotics
- Non-barbiturate hypnotics
Surgery in cats is often performed with propofol because it is fast-acting, has few side effects, and animals recover quickly after use. Propofol is a non-barbiturate hypnotic. However, since propofol is broken down by the liver, it should not be used in cats with liver problems as it could make them ill.
As an alternative to injection anesthesia, veterinarians can also give cats inhalation anesthesia by putting a mask over their nose and mouth or by inserting a tube into their lungs. Many veterinarians use the anesthetic isoflurane, which can be inhaled. Isoflurane is considered a very safe anesthetic for surgery. This anesthetic is good for pets with heart problems, and veterinarians can use it when they need to anesthetize their pets.
Different types of anesthesia have different benefits, and some are better suited to pets that have had or are at risk of medical conditions. Depending on your cat’s medical history and current health condition, your veterinarian will select the best method for euthanizing your cat.
Risk Factors for Anesthesia
Any time a cat is anesthetized there is a chance that a side effect will occur. This is true whether your cat has a short procedure or an operation lasting several hours. The good news is that anesthetic reactions are very rare: only 1 in 100,000 pets (including cats and dogs) will have a reaction.
These reactions to the anesthetic can vary in type, severity, and severity. A reaction can be as minor as a small swelling at the injection site or it can be as severe as anaphylactic shock and death. While the prospect of your cat having a bad reaction to the anesthetic is frightening, it’s important to remember that these reactions are rare and there are steps your vet can take to reduce the chance your cat has a reaction.
The Change in a Cat After Anesthesia
By the time the anesthetic wears off, she may be tired and groggy, so don’t worry. In some cats the opposite is true and you may observe your cat acting strangely after surgery. If you notice your cat behaving abnormally after surgery, you should keep an eye on her and keep her in a safe place.
As your cat gets better, it may have a hard time regulating its body temperature, so you may feel cold. Some cats look like they don’t know where they are or how to move. Most of these effects should be gone by the time you pick your cat up from the vet. You should.
This will depend on what type of anesthesia was used, how long the surgery lasted, and how well your cat coped with being placed in a coma.
Safe recovery from anesthesia for cats
The best way to help your cat recover from anesthesia is to follow your vet’s instructions closely. If your cat has had surgery, your vet will likely keep her for at least a few hours to see how she is doing. When your cat is allowed to leave the hospital, your veterinarian or a veterinary nurse will give you the discharge papers. It will tell you how to care for your cat at home.
In most cases, your vet will advise you to keep your cat indoors while she recovers. There should be no other pets or animals in the room as your cat is likely to be tired and slow to react. Leave the door of your cat’s carrier open so she can stay in it for as long as she likes.
Out of consideration for your cat’s health, your veterinarian may allow you to give your cat a small meal at night. However, you must be careful that your cat vomits after eating. If your cat has had surgery or has a specific health issue, the care required will depend on what they need. Be sure to follow your vet’s instructions closely. If you have any questions or concerns about your cat’s recovery from surgery, it’s important to speak to your veterinarian.