If your pet needs to undergo a procedure at the veterinary clinic, your vet may use one, two, or both types of veterinary anesthesia systems. The two different forms of anesthesia delivered by machine serve different purposes with ultimately the same results. If you are concerned about how your vet will anesthetize your pet, here is a little more information on the two types of anesthetic delivery machines and when your vet might use them on your pet.
Intravenous Veterinary Anesthesia Systems
These are machines that deliver general anesthesia to a pet via an IV in the front forearm. Just like the anesthesia systems used on humans, a liquid medication made to knock out the patient is delivered through a needle, with the anesthesia system pumping and delivering carefully measured doses into the body. In the case of animals, that amount varies based on the type of pet, the weight of your pet, and the age of your pet (e.g., older pets are not as able to metabolize the IV anesthesia as well as younger pets, so the amount pumped in is less).
Usually, if your vet expects a medical procedure to last longer than an hour, the intravenous system is used. It ensures that your pet remains comfortably sedated throughout the entire procedure and does not wake up. It is also the go-to system if your pet could cause serious injury to the vet and the vet assistants (e.g., hard kicks, mauling, etc.).
The Anesthesia Gas Systems
These are the systems that most people are familiar with when a vet talks about anesthetizing a pet for surgery. The attached cones fit over your pet's nose and mouth, while the anesthetic gas is delivered to your pet's airways. It is most often used for smaller pets, shorter surgery times, and to calm pets enough to insert an IV for anesthetic and hydration purposes during a surgical procedure. It may be used separately or in conjunction with the above anesthesia IV systems.
If your vet only needs to perform a simple castration, drain a pus-filled bulge, or sew up a wound, the gas system may be the only anesthesia your vet uses and needs. It helps your pet calm down and gently lull into a light sleep. It is also optimal for those times when your vet does not want your pet to be so groggy from a short-term procedure that your pet cannot wake up right away and go home. Click here for info about veterinary anesthesia systems.