Why Should I Bring my Pet to Willows for Sedation?

Willows is one of Europe’s leading small animal referral centres. Our state-of-the-art hospital is led by internationally renowned Specialists committed to providing the highest standards of care. Our dedicated team of Specialist Veterinary Anaesthetists who will assess every patient before sedation and prescribe sedative drugs tailored to your pet.

In doing so they will take in to account the age, breed, temperament of a pet as well as any conditions they may suffer from and the type of procedure to be performed.


What is Sedation?

Pets that are sedated are in a ‘sleepy’ state. It makes them physically and mentally relaxed during an investigation which may otherwise be unpleasant. They are unlikely to remember what has happened, much as in humans who have had a procedure under sedation.

On the day of the procedure patients will receive an injection with sedatives into his/her muscle or into a vein in the least stressful way possible. Whilst under sedation, patients are continuously monitored by a dedicated Veterinary Nurse and supervised by an Anaesthetist through the use of advanced monitoring equipment is to control the patients vital signs. Every effort will be made to keep your pet warm and comfortable under sedation. Our aim is to keep duration of procedure and sedation to a minimum.


Why does my Pet need to be Sedated?

Administration of a sedative will allows a pet to relax and feel comfortable. Sedatives are commonly administered for diagnostic procedures such as X-rays or scans when a patient is required to remain still and in a set position for a short period of time. Such procedures are not particularly painful, however if an animal was to be conscious they may be uncomfortable or become stressed.


What can I Expect when Pet has had a Sedation?

If a pet is discharged on the day of the procedure, they will probably be a little sleepy. You should offer some light food (e.g. boiled chicken or fish and rice) and water, however it is not expected that they will have a normal appetite. The effects of the sedation will wear off over the next few days. Please look out for any signs of pain or discomfort and contact Willows if you are at all concerned.


How can I Prepare my Pet for Sedation?

  • Overnight fasting (starving); your pet should have their normal meal the night before admission (unless otherwise instructed), but should have no further access to food after this. They should have free access to water until you leave the house to come to the surgery.
  • Cats should be kept inside the night before the procedure to prevent them eating food from elsewhere, and to make it easy to find them in the morning!
  • Take your dog for a walk in the morning to allow him or her to empty the bladder and bowels
  • Watch out for any signs of illness not related to the procedure that is to be carried out, and let the Vet or Nurse know if you have any concerns
  • Have a note of your pet’s current medication, including over the counter preparations and make sure that the Vet or nurse knows about these at the time of admission.

What can I do for my Pet after Sedation?

  • Provide them with a bed in a quiet, warm area to rest
  • Do not let cats go out until the next day, as their balance may not be back to normal
  • Take your dog out to the garden or for a very short walk on a lead to allow them to pass urine
  • Follow the condition specific instructions provided by your Vet for medication and general care.

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Anaesthesia and Analgesia

Find out more

To assist owners in understanding more about Anaesthesia and Analgesia, we have put together a range of information sheets to talk you through the some of the main areas of pain management at Willows.