Resources for veterinary professionals
Alterations to veterinary anaesthetic protocols should be overseen by a qualified veterinary surgeon working within their competency.
Higher fresh gas flows will vaporise proportionately more anaesthetic agents, and most scavenging systems will release these agents after use to the atmosphere). For example, one hour of isoflurane anaesthesia in a dog is equivalent to driving 12 miles in an average UK car (if using 1.3% isoflurane delivered in 1L/min oxygen)1.
To put this into context, a veterinary professional can reduce their carbon footprint by 3.5 tCO2e per year by reducing FGF by 25%, compared with 0.2 tCO2e by recycling all their waste that is recyclable2,3.
In 2021, Linnaeus Specialist Anaesthetists created the We Go for Lower Flow resources, to support their Primary Care Associates in reducing fresh gas flows. The principles have been shared at veterinary congresses including BVNA 2021 and Virtual Vet Congress 2022, in publications4, and are in use across our practices.
Following our initial learnings and successes from this programme, Linnaeus are targeting reductions in anaesthetic gas purchasing in 2022 by using these resources to train our Associates, and our Professional Nursing Development team are auditing understanding to ensure uptake of the We Go for Lower Flow principles.
These resources are aimed at helping veterinary professionals to conserve volatile anaesthetic agent whilst performing general anaesthesia in animals. They are intended for use by qualified veterinary professionals and do not replace an individual veterinary surgeon’s responsibility for clinical decision-making or discretion. Consult a Specialist Anaesthetist if you are unsure about changing your anaesthetic protocols.
- This webinar delivered by Becky Robinson of Davies Veterinary Specialists, outlines the use of capnography in veterinary anaesthesia. It was first released in 2020 by Davies Veterinary Specialists at the start of the pandemic to support with oxygen conservation measures
- Capnography explainer – this document explains how capnography works, and practical uses and tips
- This 3-minute video by Ellie West, Linnaeus Environmental Sustainability Lead and Specialist Anaesthetist outlines how to use a capnograph with a non-rebreathing system to optimise your fresh gas flow
- This 4-minute video by Heide Kloppel of Davies Veterinary Specialists gives top tips on using a circle rebreathing system
- In this 3-minute video Alex Chebroux of Davies Veterinary Specialists talks through how to leak test an anaesthetic machine
For any feedback on these resources, please contact Ellie West at
- Jones RS, West E. Environmental sustainability in veterinary anaesthesia. Vet Anaesth Analg 2019. 46; 409-420.
- Wynes, S., Nicholas, K.A. (2017) The climate mitigation gap: education and government recommendations miss the most effective individual actions Environ. Res. Lett. 12
- Pierce, J.M.T. (2015) The Anaesthetic impact calculator; Royal College of Anaesthetists. Available at: https://www.rcoa.ac.uk/about-college/strategy-vision/environment-sustainability/anaesthetic-impact-calculator
- West, E. (2021) Reducing the environmental impacts of veterinary anaesthesia. Veterinary Record 189, 360-363. DOI: 10.1002/vetr.1147
This information is for educational purposes only and we provide no warranty as to the accuracy of the information provided. For further information, please see: Legal Information (linnaeusgroup.co.uk)