Diabetes and anaesthesia

15 January 2015 | Posted by

If your pet has been diagnosed with diabetes mellitus what does this mean when they need an anaesthetic?

Been a diabetic dog or cat does not mean you cannot have an anaesthetic. It is important though that your pet’s diabetes is well controlled prior to any non-urgent surgery. In an emergency situation your pet’s diabetes may not have been treated for long enough to allow good stability. This will not stop your veterinary surgeon from administering an anaesthetic, although the risk is likely to be greater.

The most important consideration for your pet is to try to minimise any alteration from their normal routine, particularly with respect to their diet, feeding times and insulin administration. Your veterinary surgeon may recommend some blood tests prior to your pet’s anaesthetic to assess their health status. On the morning of your pet’s anaesthetic you will be advised as to how to manage their diabetes and feeding before you take them to your vets.

After your pet is admitted by your veterinary surgeon they will check their blood sugar levels and administer insulin if it has not already been given. During their stay at the clinic your pet’s blood sugar levels will be monitored on a regular basis to ensure they remain as normal as possible. Your veterinary surgeon will be able to administer additional medications if your pet’s blood sugar levels are too high or too low.

In most cases the anaesthetic your pet receives will be similar to a pet without diabetes. During their anaesthetic your pet will be monitored by a veterinary nurse and at a referral centre a veterinary anaesthetist is likely to also be involved. Some problems that may be encountered with a diabetic pet during their anaesthetic are low blood pressure and a high heart rate.

When you collect your pet to take them home you will be advised as to how to mange their diabetes during their recovery period. Most importantly you should return them to their normal routine as soon as possible to minimise any disruption to their diabetic management.

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