No one died… Anaesthesia into the future

Anaesthesia monitoring into the future

When I first started learning about anaesthesia I was worried about if the patient would wake up or even survive the surgery. I was thinking about this today and realised that my thinking about anaesthesia has evolved since then. It used to be that I was grateful no one died when I was doing anaesthesia as that would be bad, I would have failed, and it would have taken a life because of my failure.

Today however I realised that it is not just enough that my patient survives any longer; it is how they survive that is more important. It is the quality of the anaesthesia, the maintenance of the depth of anaesthesia and the quality of the recovery from anaesthesia. All of these can be managed with an understanding of physiology, the effects of drugs, and with the correct monitoring. There are specialists in anaesthesia and whilst previously they mainly resided within universities there are many that are moving to private practices and referral hospitals. This means that the quality of anaesthesia is increasing – and in some places is done by specialists that only do anaesthesia which allows a higher standard to be provided.

Something that has always been a big problem here in Slovakia is maintaining temperature as the heating in the hospital is not great, the weather regularly drops below freezing in winter and we do not have warming blankets or systems apart from microwave heat pads which tend to go cold on a long surgery. In addition our monitor does not include an esophageal thermometer so we do not have any continuous monitoring of the body temperature once the patient is under drapes.

Once surgery finished instead of the recovery being as fast as it should the decreased body temperature and hypothermia increased the time that patients took to wake up. This was not so great for the patient however in terms for learning it was something that increased my experience and understanding of the physiology of the body system. It gave me experience in how quickly the temperature of an animal can change and the importance of body surface to volume ratio. Hopefully in the new surgical hospital now it will hopefully be less of a problem with new heating systems.

This is not the only factor that is important when it comes to anaesthesia, one of the things that I find important and I do not like to be without is a cannula which is an injection port into a vein. Normally I would also include fluids here at a low maintenance rate so that if I get problems I can then increase the fluid within the vascular system quickly in response.

It seems that things always come in bunches and so last week we had a few patients that had unwanted heart rhythms during their surgeries. Emergencies can and do occur and in this case from seeing the rhythm on the monitor it took just a minute to prepare the medications needed and get them into the patients because there was an IV cannula in place giving us access.

Thinking forwards I see anaesthesia becoming more about the big picture of pain management to ensure a smoother anaesthesia and recovery without the patient experiencing pain. And that is the entire point of anaesthesia – to allow operations without pain.

Keep Your Dogs Healthy With These Basics

Keeping dogs healthy

All loving owners of dogs know that you need to go out of your way to keep them as healthy as possible, and the more loving the owner, the healthier the dog tends to be. If you have dogs of your own, then you might well be wondering about some of the things you can do to keep them healthy. The truth is, it is a fact of achieving a few basic things which ensures that your dogs will remain as healthy as possible. As long as you are bearing these essentials in mind, your dogs should live long and healthy lives. Let’s take a look at what those things might be, so that we can better understand how to achieve great doggy health.

Balanced Diet

Many of the things you need to consider for your pooch are exactly those which are just as important for you, and this first one is a great example. You need to ensure you are feeding your dogs a decent, well-balanced diet in order to keep them as healthy as they can be. This means that along with feeding them dried biscuits, you should also ensure that they get plenty of actual meat, as this is the sustenance which keeps them going for real. With a decent diet, your dogs are much more likely to be healthier – and you will notice the difference in how happy they will suddenly look as well.

The Coat

Looking after the coat is not just an aesthetic concern – it is actually relevant to their overall health too. One of the major things that you need to do is to keep the coat trimmed and brushed, as not doing this can lead to a variety of issues. You should also make sure to use a flea treatment for dogs, so that any fleas they might have are dealt with in no time at all. When you use this treatment, be careful not to get it in their eyes or anywhere else, as this could cause some severe irritations which could then lead to further problems. Keeping an eye on their coat for future fleas is always a good idea, too, so make sure that you do just that.

Regular Walks

This is one of those absolutely vital aspects of dog care. You simply can’t have a dog and not take it for walks, as this is exercise which they absolutely need in order to thrive physically. There is a lot of debate about how much exercise is ideal, but as a rule it is tempting to say that more is better. You would be hard pushed to exercise a dog more than they can handle, so don’t worry about overdoing it. Do, however, be concerned with a lower amount of exercise, as this could easily result in several serious health conditions if you are not careful. As long as you are taking your dog for regular walks, you are taking care of their most basic needs, and you can be sure that they will live long and healthy lives.

Caring For Your Old Dog

Caring for your old dog

It’s hard to exactly how long your beloved pooch will live because it all depends on breed, care and background. However, on average, dogs live to around 12 years old (in human years, that is). Of course, some can live much longer than this, twelve is the average age, with seven years old being classed as middle aged. So how do you make sure your old dog gets the best care in his old age and lives a long and happy last few years. Well, we have compiled some advice to help you achieve a healthy and happy existence for your maturing best friend.

Comfort

Dogs are a bit like humans in this sense. The older they get the more comfortable they want to be. As such, you should make sure your dogs has a gorgeously comfy bed that is away from the humdrum of the house and away from any draughts that could give them the shivers. Imagine where you would want to be, and go from there. The other thing you should take into consideration is the floor surrounding their bed. If it’s slippery, then rethink the positioning or buy a nice thick and stable rug that will allow them to maneuver without issue.

The other area of similarity between old dogs and old people can be made in their changing toilet needs. Old dogs will start needing ‘to go’ a lot more frequently as they grow old. As such, it is important you make note of any changes and discuss these with your doctor so that they can inform you of how to best address the issue.

Accessibility

This is such an important change to make. You need to adapt to your dog’s requirements, and that means ensuring they have everything they could possibly want and need close to their bed. Food, water, and toys are the main three things in this respect.

Feeding Habits

As a dog matures, you will need to consider how their dietary requirements may change. The best way to address these new needs is to speak to your vet, who will be able to advise you based on breed, weight, activity and health. But a pretty solid rule of thumb is, when your dog reaches middle age, start thinking about a putting them onto a diet designed for older dogs.

Other things you should be addressing are their dental hygiene. Dogs need strong and healthy teeth, so do your due diligence on what dental treats are out there for your doggy. It is also important to take into consideration any other dogs you may have in your home. For example, if you have a puppy, who is sprightly and full of energy, make sure your older dog doesn’t have to compete with him for food. This isn’t fair on them. The same goes for water. You should have a separate water bowl for your older dog, which you should monitor closely. Any concerns you have about their water intake should be discussed with your vet.