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The Benefits of Local Anesthetic Blocks for Cats

At the veterinary clinic, ensuring the well-being and comfort of our feline patients during and after anesthesia should be a top priority. One valuable tool in achieving this goal is the use of local anesthetic blocks. Unfortunately, most vet practices have not yet embraced local anesthesia, we will talk more about that later. In this blog post, I explore the benefits of local anesthetic blocks for cats, how they work, and the positive impact they have on their anesthesia experience.

sLocal anesthetic blocks involve the administration of an anesthetic agent directly to the nerves supplying a specific area of the body. This targeted approach blocks pain signals from reaching the brain, providing localised pain relief and minimising the need for systemic pain medications. These blocks can be used during dental procedures when extracting teeth and during neutering procedures. They can also be used during all surgeries, from minor lump removals and wound repairs to major surgery when the chest or abdomen has to be opened.

Local anesthetic blocks offer significant benefits during surgical procedures. By providing targeted pain relief, they reduce the amount of general anesthesia needed, leading to a smoother and safer anesthesia experience for cats. Anesthetic gas can often drop cat's blood pressure to dangerously low levels, the use of local anesthetic blocks is one way of reducing the need for anesthetic gas and making general anesthesia safer for our cats. Anesthetic gas is also an environmental pollutant, so using less gas is good for the environment too!

One of the primary advantages of local anesthetic blocks is their ability to provide prolonged pain relief after the procedure. By effectively managing pain at the source, cats experience reduced discomfort during the recovery phase. This can lead to improved mobility, faster return to normal activities, and enhanced overall well-being.

Using local anesthetic blocks can also help minimise the need for systemic pain medications, such as opioids, which can have side effects. By targeting pain relief directly to the affected area, cats may require lower doses of systemic medications, reducing the potential for adverse reactions or complications.

Local anesthetic blocks allow for a more tailored and individualised approach to pain management. Vets can customise the blocks based on the specific procedure and the cat's needs, ensuring optimal pain relief. This personalised approach helps promote a faster and smoother recovery.

By incorporating local anesthetic blocks into anesthesia protocols, veterinary teams can enhance the overall anesthesia experience for cats. The reduced pain and improved comfort contribute to lower stress levels, faster recovery, and a more positive perception of veterinary visits.

The use of local anesthetic blocks in cats at the veterinary clinic brings numerous benefits, both during and after anesthesia. By providing targeted pain relief, minimising the need for systemic medications, and promoting faster recovery, local anesthetic blocks play a crucial role in enhancing comfort and care for our feline patients.

Unfortunately, the use of local anesthetic blocks is not yet routine in many veterinary practices, especially for cats. This is despite very clear guidelines set out in 2022 by the International Society of Feline Medicine. Since then I have been using local anesthetics in all of my neuters and at every opportunity I get! It makes such a difference! We have been using dental blocks for years and it is a game changer for cats under anesthetic, especially older cats where it is now safer to do procedures on them. If your vet practice is not using local blocks you should ask them why not, as it benefits cats and the environment.

Wishing your furry friend a comfortable and stress-free veterinary experience!

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