Anesthesia in animals is very similar to human anesthesia, but also slightly different. There are a couple of anesthesia methods we use, local and general.
Local anesthesia decreases the sensation in the area in need of treatment, surgery etc. General anesthesia is used in animals for most surgical procedures. The pet is often premedicated intravenously or intramuscularly not only to ease the transition between being fully alert and induction, but also to make sure there waking process is as painless and comfortable as possible. Induction is the next process which is usually done with an intravenous drug and your pet is now safely transitioned from induction to intubation with an endotracheal tube and maintained on a gas anesthetic during the surgery. We use the most common gas anesthetics in veterinary medicine which stimulate rapid induction and recovery.