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Anesthetic Depth in Exotic Animals: Monitoring the Degree of Central Nervous System Depression

A dedicated anesthetist should be assigned to monitor every patient during the perianesthetic period. The anesthetist is fundamental to patient safety because she assures the patient is not aware, not moving, and not in pain, all while maintaining stable anesthetic depth. A deep plane of anesthesia can lead to hypoventilation and hypoxemia, reduced cardiac output, hypotension, inadequate tissue perfusion, central nervous system (CNS) depression, and prolonged recovery. This review article first explores the stages of anesthesia and then discusses assessment of anesthetic depth in exotic companion mammals, birds, and reptiles.

Erik Hofmeister, DVM, MA, MS, DACVAA, DECVAA

Dr. Erik Hofmeister is a board-certified anesthesiologist, a Diplomate of the American and European Colleges of Veterinary Anesthesia and Analgesia. Originally from Los Angeles, he received his DVM degree from Washington State University in 2000. He did an internship in Small Animal Medicine and Surgery and the Veterinary Medical and Surgical Group in Ventura, […]