Information for owners


ace vets provides specialist anaesthesia services to veterinary practices to complement the care they provide for your pet, allowing for a dedicated specialist anaesthetist to perform this very important part of your pets treatment.

Your general practice veterinary surgeon may decide referral to a veterinary specialist is appropriate for your pet if they are unable to complete diagnostics or any definitive treatment. If during referral your pet requires a general anaesthetic for any diagnostic tests or surgical procedures then ace vets can provide a specialist anaesthetist if the referral practice your pet is attending does not have one as a member of their own staff.


To be become a specialist in a discipline such as anaesthesia a qualified veterinary surgeon must complete a post graduate training programme approved by their specialist college. During this 3 year period they are supervised by veterinary specialists in their chosen field and must undertake examined coursework before being admitted to sit the certifying examination. After successfully completing the rigorous examination process the veterinary surgeon becomes a Diplomate and is awarded specialist status.

There is one more step after this whereby a Diplomate can apply to become a Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons (RCVS) Specialist in their field. This requires a minimum of 7 years within their chosen field at specialist level among several criteria that must be fulfilled. RCVS Specialist Status is the highest level of recognition offered in the UK.
If your pet is referred for an appointment with a specialist, be that for example a surgeon, medicine clinician or neurologist then a specialist anaesthetist should be involved with your pets care if they require an anaesthetic, procedure or even a sedation. Just as the specialist who looks after your pet is recognised in their field they will be concentrating on your pet’s illness, diagnosis and any treatment.

If you are seen at a practice with a specialist anaesthetist then they will be able to concentrate on your pet receiving the best possible care, ensuring they remain as pain free as possible and are monitored carefully during their anaesthetic and the period before and afterwards. Does the clinic you have been referred to with your pet have an anaesthetist?
Many procedures require your pet to remain quiet and still for a prolonged period of time which requires either sedation or an anaesthetic in some cases.

Some diagnostic procedures may be uncomfortable due to positioning or the length of the procedure and your pet will require sedation to enhance their comfort and the addition of some pain relief.
Your pet will be examined by the veterinary surgeon/anaesthetist prior to administering the premedication drugs.

Your pet will be weighed to allow accurate drug calculations and dosing.

A catheter will be placed into a vein in your pets leg to allow administration of the anaesthetic and pain killers and other necessary drugs.

Your pet will be settled into a comfortable and warm kennel for around 30-45 minutes after their premedication before their anaesthetic is started.
A sedative like drug to help calm your pet and make their time in the hospital as stress free as possible.

Pain killers if your pet is having a surgical procedure that may be painful.

The premedication drugs are allowed a period of around 30-45 minutes for them to have their full effect and ensure the pets anaesthetic is as stable as possible.
The anaesthetic is administered through a cannula placed into a vein in your pet’s leg. You will notice a clip patch on their leg when you collect them.

Your pet will them become unconscious allowing placement of a tube into your pet’s windpipe for the maintenance anaesthetic agent to be administered as a gas in oxygen.
A veterinary nurse will be dedicated to monitor your pets vital parameters during their anaesthetic.

Your pet will have their pulse and breathing rates monitored and we will use a computerised, electronic monitor to provide additional information to make the anaesthetic as safe as possible.
At the end of the procedure the gaseous anaesthetic is discontinued and oxygen administration continued until your pet starts to regain consciousness.

Once your pet is able to swallow the tube is removed from their windpipe.

A nurse will remain with your pet until they can sit comfortably and are completely recovered.