The goal of locoregional anesthesia is to anesthetize certain regions of a pet’s anatomy. Locoregional anesthesia may include nerve blocks which involve making numb only that part of the body to be operated on, for example a leg. The nerves that give feeling to the area being operated on are “blocked” by the local anesthetic so that pain cannot be felt.
Potential complications may include failure of the anesthetic technique; drug-induced low blood pressure (hypotension); bleeding; adverse reactions to the drugs being administered including drug toxicity, allergic reactions; infection; complications involving the nervous system which although rare, may result in temporary or permanent paralysis; urinary retention; pruritus (itchiness); slow re-growth of hair over the injection site.
With various pain blocks, your pet will be free of pain while the block lasts, but may not be able to use a forelimb or hind limb for 18 to 24 hours (in some cases up to 30 hours). Your pet may or may not have to wear a bandage or splint for several days depending on the type of surgery that was performed. Locoregional anesthesia is often used in combination with general anesthesia to increase the safety of anesthesia while optimizing pain relief. This is because blocking the nerves to the surgery site enables a reduction in the amount of gas anesthesia needed.