Animals may not understand what veterinarians or their owners are trying to do to help them and can react with fear or with pain. Anesthesia and analgesia plays an important part in alleviating fear and pain when treating or performing diagnostics on our patients.
However, general anesthesia with the use of drugs can disrupt the normal balance of the body (homeostasis) that is typically maintained in wakefulness, which in serious circumstances, can be life threatening. The use of drugs to bring the patient to an unconscious state is very different compared to normal sleep and therefore requires greater care and attention.
Although it is not routinely articulated, the most crucial mission of anesthetic management is “to recover the patient from general anesthesia". This is expected to happen, but it may not without good anesthetic management.
To provide high-quality anesthetic and analgesic management for a patient, it is extremely important to prepare for and prevent any possible complication. In order to create a patient-specific plan, understanding multiple factors required:
Medical physiology and pharmacology
Health status of the patient
Procedures involved and potential complications
Structure and principle of equipment
Steps to take in case of an emergency
“100%-safe anesthesia” does not exist. However, safety can be improved tremendously and easily through the use of conducting careful and thorough planning for each patient.
The number of veterinarians pursuing further training to become veterinary specialists has been increasing in recent years. Nevertheless, veterinary anesthesia and analgesia is still underappreciated especially in Asia because of the lack of structured training programs unlike in North America or Europe.
Veterinary Anesthesiology Consultant (VAC) was founded to allow for expert-anesthesia to be available for common domestic species as well as exotic species, for critical patients, and for interested general practitioners who wish to improve their anesthetic protocols. VAC is based in Japan but is willing to expand the service to veterinarians who are eager to improve their patient care in other Asian countries.
Veterinary medicine cannot be sustained by one person requiring different people to be involved. Sometimes, people may have different perspectives, and an agreement may not be reached easily. However, it is important to remember that everyone has the same mission: “the best care for animals”. Respect each other for a strong team.
Sometimes, medicine itself is easier than communication with pet owners or colleagues. It is not uncommon to see a conflict between people because of lack of good communication. VAC seeks good communication in order to provide the best care for each patient. No matter who is involved in the patient care, building trust by sharing information and understanding each other is essential – especially in emergency cases. We value good communication to build good relationships.
The pace of advancement may not be as fast as human medicine, but veterinary medicine is changing all the time. There may be concepts, which were accepted 10-15 years ago but but thanks to newer research, may be shown to be inaccurate or incomplete. Treatment plans for a diseases may change drastically because of new medications. As a board-certified veterinary anesthesiologist, VAC promises to provide high quality and up-to-date education in veterinary anesthesia and analgesia for the Asian veterinary community. Education requires both teachers and students. VAC will put maximal effort in fostering the building of the mutual relationships as well as staying open-minded to new ideas.