Once your pet is admitted he/she is:

  • Weighed - to allow for accurate calculation of any drug dosages.

  • Given a health check to properly asses the risk of any anaesthetic drugs which may need to be used.

  • Given a 'pre-med' - a drug combination to relax your pet and make the further administration of anesthetic drugs as stress free and safe as possible.

  • Allocated a slot in the days list of procedures based on the type of procedure required and in order of medical need.


Your pet is then put in a secure, clean and warm kennel or cage most appropriate. During your pets procedure He/She, if appropriate, can be:

  • Connected to an ECG machine to monitor heart rate and respiration

  • Connected to a pulse oximeter to measure blood oxygen levels

  • Have its heart and respiration monitored by a nurse

  • Receive painkillers and antibiotics before, during and after its procedure



The following information explains our practice policy about general anaesthesia. When you go into hospital you naturally expect the best and very latest treatment and we believe that your pet deserves a similar approach.

  • Pre-anaesthetic examination: This practice routinely weighs and examines all patients prior to anaesthesia. If your pet is over 7 years of age a blood sample can be taken to asses his/her kidney function and so increase the safety of the forthcoming anaesthetic. The test will be performed in the hospital prior to anaesthesia.

  • General Anaesthesia:  Your pet is to undergo a surgical procedure. We use the newer anaesthetic agents . These drugs are now used extensively for human anaesthesia. Animals anaesthetised with these agents go to sleep in a smooth and well controlled manner and wake up more rapidly, with very little 'hangover'. Furthermore, they have less effect on a number of vital organs including the liver, kidneys and heart. They are especially suitable for 'day case surgery' - where patients operated upon can go home on the same day. These agents allow us to return your pet in a brighter and more alert condition, even following anaesthesia just a short time before.  We know that by using these agents, the anaesthetic experience for your pet is kept as short and as pleasant as possible.


Not surprisingly, as with most technological advances, these anaesthetic agents are more expensive than some of the older agents, and we recognise that for the more routine operations and procedures, the extra cost appearing on your bill may not be particularly welcome. We hope you're reassured that we are committed to the very best anaesthetic practices. Please feel free to question us about the forthcoming procedure.

  • Anaesthetic monitoring:  All our patients are monitored by  a trained veterinary nurse until they are fully recovered. Furthermore, we use anaesthetic monitoring devices including an ECG/Respiratory monitor on our anaesthetics. This is state of the art technology again used in human anaesthesia, which can provide early warning of cardiac and respiratory  dysfunction during anaesthesia. We hope you will agree that the increased safety provided by such monitoring is well worth any extra cost.


All anaesthetics carry some risk.  We strive to reduce that risk to the smallest possible.


The procedure on the day for an xray is similar to that for most operations so please see the above information. However, we would draw your attention to the following specific points:

  • You are provided with an opinion on the xrays taken as that is what you are invoiced for. But, the xrays themselves remain the property of Gatehouse Veterinary Centre and may not be taken away from the premises without our consent

  • As the discussion of the results can be quite involved you may be asked to make an appointment to discuss them at a later date as time may not be available to do so when you collect your pet