Managing animals during recovery from anaesthesia

The immediate recovery period

The swallowing and cough reflexes are usually suppressed during anaesthesia, and these gradually return as the animal recovers consciousness. If an endotracheal tube is present, it should be removed when the animal begins to swallow spontaneously or attempts to cough. If the tube has been tied in position, the ties should be loosened in anticipation of the need to remove the tube. Care must be taken that the tube is not pulled out too soon, for example, when the animal is repositioned as surgical drapes are removed.