Anaesthesia for Veterinary Nurses by Elizabeth Welsh (ed.)

By Elizabeth Welsh (ed.)

Sedation and anaesthesia are an important a part of veterinary perform. The protocols and strategies concerned are frequently complicated and fluctuate significantly from animal to animal. The veterinary nurse has a pivotal position in anaesthesia, being without delay concerned prior to, in the course of and after the anaesthetic interval.

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Conversely, the parasympathetic outflow to these organs will increase. This will result in vagal inhibition of the heart, causing bradycardia and vasodilation so that the blood pressure will fall, ideally to within 26 Anaesthesia for Veterinary Nurses a normal range. Drugs such as halothane can also cause bradycardia because they decrease vagal tone. Cardiac output depends on the rate and the force of heart contractions. The sino-atrial node controls the heart rate and is innervated by both the sympathetic and parasympathetic nervous system.

KIDNEYS AND CONTROL OF FLUID The kidneys have a number of important functions with regard to anaesthesia. They are involved in the excretion of many anaesthetic agents and control blood volume, blood pressure and electrolyte balance. During anaesthesia blood supply to the kidneys is often reduced and it is therefore important that kidney function is checked before anaesthesia to ensure that it can withstand any additional demands that are put upon it (see chapter 3). The kidneys control the excretion and retention of electrolytes such as sodium, chloride, potassium, hydrogen and bicarbonate, in addition to controlling the excretion of water.

In general, drug therapy should be continued as normal, ensuring administration before premedication. (8) Main complaint and history. Cardiovascular history • Exercise tolerance: one of the most useful indicators of cardiac ‘fitness’. It is advisable to investigate reported exercise intolerance before surgery, and stabilise any identifiable cardiopulmonary disease. Coughing? • • Difficulty breathing? Preoperative Assessment and Preparation of the Patient 37 Gastrointestinal history • Persistent, recurrent or recent vomiting?

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