3 updates in feline anesthesia and analgesia

February 12, 2018
Sheilah A. Robertson, BVMS (Hons), PhD, DACVA, DECVA, CVA, MRCVS

Section of Anesthesia and Pain Management

Veterinary medicine has come a long way in caring for its purring patients recently, including new drugs and a different approach to fluid therapy

If you want to know the latest on feline anesthesia and analgesia, Fetch dvm360 conference speaker Sheilah Robertson, BVMS (Hons), PhD, DACVA, DECVA, CVA, MRCVS, is a go-to source.

“Luckily, we've come a long way in feline anesthesia and analgesia recently-a lot of it is to do with new drugs that are specifically approved for use in cats,” says Dr. Robertson.

First on her list: the versatile induction drug alfaxalone, which is known for having a wide safety margin. Second: FDA-approved, feline-specific buprenorphine, which is a very good analgesic for cats, Dr. Robertson says.

Did we mention Dr. Sheilah Robertson knows cats?

Hear how to meet the needs of hospitalized feline patients.

Brush up on behaviors suggestive of postoperative pain in cats.

Take her image quiz on identifying postoperative pain in cats.

For the third and final update, Dr. Robertson points out that while dogs and cats have historically been treated similarly with respect to fluid therapy while anesthetized, there's a known difference in their blood volumes-an issue she's crusading to correct.

"We do know that cats do need a much, much lower fluid rate during anesthesia, and that's what we're trying to tell everybody," she says.

Watch the video for more details on these updates in Dr. Robertson's own words (complete with a Scottish accent):