The Anaesthesia team at Anderson Moores Veterinary Specialists takes care of patients’ well-being and comfort not only in the preoperative phase and during the surgery, but also in the post-operative period. In fact, it has been widely demonstrated that the immediate post operative period is a key time for ensuring good recovery and also that optimal post-operative pain control has a positive influence on outcome by accelerating recovery and reducing hospitalisation times.
In our practice, several strategies are used and a large selection of pain killers can be administered to our patients, in order to ensure them the best level of comfort and analgesia (pain relief). Every patient is individually assessed according to temperament, breed, surgical procedure and systemic health before a plan is drawn up for pain relief during the entire hospital stay.
Nearly all our patients receive peripheral locoregional blocks (nerve blocks and epidurals) before going to the operating room. While the nerve block is active the patient cannot feel any pain and these often allow us to effectively control pain not only during surgery but also for many hours after surgery, avoiding some side effects that can be caused by other pain killers (eg nausea and vomiting). Nerve blocks also enable us to use lower doses of anaesthetic drugs during the procedure, reducing the risk of anaesthesia related complications.
In addition to nerve blocks there are many analgesic drugs that can be administered to guarantee an appropriate level of comfort. These drugs can be provided to the patient in the hours following the surgery, either at regular intervals or in cases of extensive surgeries in which we anticipate a greater degree of pain they can also be administered as continuous infusions providing a constant dose of medication, specific to the patient's weight, thanks to the use of special infusion pumps available in our practice. We always incorporate regular pain scoring into our assessments to ensure that levels of pain relief are tailored to the individual patient. Trained nurses and vets examine the patient regularly through the day and night to check that the protocol for pain relief is working. If it is not, then they can contact the anaesthesia team for further recommendations.
In the case of moderate to severe chronic pain, difficult to control with the traditional methods and drugs available, our team is also trained to perform acupuncture, allowing our patients to benefit from the many positive effects provided by this ancient practice. You can find more information about our Pain Clinic here.