Sedating a dog for
Tranquilization reduces anxiety and induces a sense of tranquility without drowsiness.Drug-induced sedation has a more profound effect and produces drowsiness and hypnosis.For drugs commonly used in various species for tranquilization, sedation, or analgesia, see Table: Dosage of Tranquilizers and Sedatives without Analgesic Effects and see Table: Dosage of Analgesics.
The answer is that which ever anesthetic your veterinarian is most familiar using is the safest.
While there is always an exception to the rule, appropriate sedation is my preference for handling these patients, hands down! before radiographs, IV catheter, thoracocentesis, echocardiogram, etc.
Obviously I would prefer for the dyspneic patient to receive oxygen before, during, and after all interventions, but you've probably noted that some patients will struggle even if you are trying to blow some oxygen in their face; they may need sedation before you can even examine them.
Many of the drugs that we use for anesthesia at one dose are sedatives at a lesser dose.
So the difference between your pet being sedated and your pet being anethetized it blurry.General anesthesia is achieved by administering drugs that suppress your dog’s nerve response.