Local anesthesia provides pain control for a specific location on the body. Examples include an epidural before surgery on a rear limb or a nerve block before a tooth extraction. The local anesthetic prevents the pain impulse from being ‘read’ by the brain. With animals, local anesthetics may provide pain control, but may not be sufficient to keep the animal still during the procedure. In these cases, a sedative or general anesthetic is typically needed in conjunction with a local anesthetic.
For certain procedures, local anesthetics may be used in an effort to decrease the amount of general anesthetic needed and speed up recovery time. The less pain they feel, the less anesthetic gas is needed to keep them comfortable which easier on their body. If your pet is having a minor surgical or diagnostic procedure performed, we sometimes use a local anesthetic to help control pain. For example, when we perform a biopsy (in which a small portion of tissue is surgically removed so it can be examined), we often use a local anesthetic.
Please contact us if you have any questions or concerns about your pet receiving local anesthesia or about the procedure for which your pet is scheduled.