Our dedicated, specialist-led veterinary anaesthesia team is here to support your pet if they need sedation, pain relief or a general anaesthetic during investigation, treatment or surgery.
Our anaesthesia and analgesia specialists Liz Leece and Alex Dugdale lead the dedicated team supervising and managing your pet and providing a personalised plan specific to their needs.
All patients are monitored closely during their anaesthetic by our highly qualified team using hi-tech equipment as needed for their individual risk or procedure:
- Continuous electrocardiography
- Pulse oximetry
- Temperature and indirect blood pressure monitoring
- Arterial blood gas monitoring in critical patients
- Direct arterial blood pressure monitoring
- Urine output
- Neuromuscular blocking as required
Enhancing pain relief
We are passionate about enhancing pain relief for patients and are pioneering the use of alternative pain relief drugs and management of hard-to-treat conditions.
Every patient is treated according to their medical status and temperament, the procedure they are undergoing, and their response to a strange environment.
Pain relief modalities we offer includes:
- Ultrasound for delivery of local anaesthetics directly around the nerve
- Epidural analgesia (an injection around the spinal cord)
- Peripheral nerve blocks, which help pets walk more quickly following surgery
Local Nerve Blocks
Previously, local analgesia was provided using the ‘blind technique’, which utilises anatomical knowledge to inject pain relief in the area of the nerves to be blocked but is less accurate. Many practices provide simple nerve blocks attempting to block out the pain at surgical sites.
At Paragon we use a dedicated ultrasound machine to allow us to visualise the actual nerve and deposit local anaesthetic round it, providing precise nerve blocks. This also allows us to provide more complex nerve blocks to maximise pain relief whilst minimising any side effects, for example following hind leg surgery our patients can walk on their operated leg but not experience pain.
Our team can provide the perfect pain relief plan while your pet is in the hospital. Pre-emptive pain relief is given before surgery even starts to help us with post operative management. An intraoperative plan may involve the use of local anaesthetics wherever we can combine these with other drugs. This makes for a more comfortable patient after surgery, if breakthrough pain is anticipated. The patient is then monitored closely overnight to check pain does not develop once local anaesthesia starts to wear off.
Anxiety can also affect pain in our pets, and because they have often been in hospital with our nurses overnight before surgery, this allows us to get them settled, and use to the environment, making it easier to provide the right level of pain relief.
BVSc CertVA DipECVAA MRCVS
RCVS & EBVS Specialist in Anaesthesia & Analgesia
After a residency in veterinary anaesthesia at the University of Liverpool, Liz moved to the Animal Heath Trust becoming head of anaesthesia in 2006. She has since worked in university and private referral hospitals whilst acting as a consultant in a number of clinics across Europe.
She is a European and RCVS Specialist in Veterinary Anaesthesia and Analgesia and also a past president of the Association of Veterinary Anaesthetists. She loves teaching both inside and outside the clinics, whilst her current clinical research interests are with the brachycephalics, neuroanaesthesia, and chronic pain. Liz lectures to vets and nurses (and occasionally human anaesthetists) worldwide.
In her spare time, she loves cycling and walking, especially up mountains, with her young dog, Ogwen, who she is currently training to become her diabetic hypo-detection dog so that she can stay safe when exploring the landscapes that Yorkshire has to offer.
Dr Alexandra Helena Anne Dugdale
MA VetMB DVA DipECVAA PGCertLTHE PhD FRCVS
RCVS Recognised and EBVS® European Specialist in Veterinary Anaesthesia and Analgesia
After qualifying in 1990, I worked in mixed practice in Lancashire for 6 years, during which I gained the RCVS CertVA (in 1993). I then undertook a Residency in Veterinary Anaesthesia and Critical Care at the Animal Health Trust in Newmarket, which was followed, in 1999, by a move to Liverpool University’s Veterinary School where I remained for 17 years, first as Lecturer and then as Senior Lecturer in Veterinary Anaesthesia. I gained both the Dip.ECVAA and the RCVS DVA in 2001. I have been an EBVS® European Specialist in Veterinary Anaesthesia and Analgesia since 2001 and an RCVS Recognised Specialist in Veterinary Anaesthesia since 2006. In 2006, I completed the PGCert (LTHE), with distinction, and was awarded a PhD (on Aspects of Adipobiology in Ponies) in 2011.
Interests include, not only all aspects of anaesthesia and analgesia, but also applied nutrition and endocrinology, as I have been intrigued by the metabolic consequences of obesity, both human and animal, for most of her career. Now working in referral practice, I continue to endeavour to use acquired and ever-evolving knowledge and skills to provide the best possible care fo patients, and to teach the next generation of vets and vet nurses.
In my spare time, not that there is ever very much of it, I enjoy walks and play-time (which often involves water!), with my Labrador!