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Can't my veterinarian perform anesthesia? What is a Board Certified Veterinary Anesthesiologist?

Veterinarians are responsible for administering sedatives and anesthetics, either through the supervision of a veterinary technician who administers the drugs, or by administering the drugs personally. Historically, this has been an effective way to provide humane and timely veterinary care.

A Board Certified Veterinary Anesthesiologist differs from a general practice veterinarian in several ways. An anesthesiologist has received up to 3 years of additional training in an anesthesia residency. This extra training is focused on anesthetic administration and monitoring of different veterinary species. Upon completion of a residency, an examination is given by the American College of Veterinary Anesthesia and Analgesia which tests the knowledge of the person. Successful completion of the process results in certification. A Board Certified Veterinary Anesthesiologist usually focuses solely on administering the anesthetics and managing the inherent risks. They don't perform surgery, give vaccinations, or do other general veterinary procedures. When you pay extra for an anesthesiologist, you are paying for the anesthesiologist's time and experience similar to the way you would be paying for an anesthesiologist's time and experience if you, or a member of your family, were to have anesthesia and surgery at a human hospital.

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