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Pet Dental Health

Prey was once the natural source of "dental floss" and teeth cleaning for dogs and cats. Today's diet of high quality canned and dried foods have extended our pet's lives however, they cannot provide the same level of dental hygiene. It begins with plaque which turns to tartar and quickly forms small pockets where an animal's gums meet its teeth. The gums can separate from the teeth allowing bacteria and food to collect. This build up leads to periodontal disease which in turn allows bacteria to enter the bloodstream leading to more serious health problems, including heart, lung and kidney disease if left untreated. Prevention is the key to managing dental disease. The American Animal Hospital Association Dental Care Guidelines recommends regular oral exams and dental cleanings under general anesthesia for all adult dogs and cats. The AAHA further recommends these procedures at least annually starting at one year of age for cats and small breed dogs and at two years of age for large breed dogs. Professional cleaning is the only way to effectively fight dental disease. Brushing your pet's teeth daily can be stressful for both you and your pet. We recommend feeding Hill's Prescription Diet t/d Dental Care dry food and for dogs, OraVet dental chews on a daily basis. These chews are the first and only chew to contain delmopinol, an exclusive ingredient that helps not only to clean teeth but, also leaves a protective barrier to help fight plaque and tartar. These products can help in the fight against dental disease but, nothing takes the place of regular professional dental cleaning.

What To Expect When Your Pet Has A Dental Cleaning

Do not allow your pet access to food or water after 10pm the night before surgery. When your pet arrives at 7:30am they are taken to the treatment room where they can relax in their personal kennel with blankets. During this time they will have a physical exam to check their heart and lungs to make sure they sound healthy and will have blood work done if you have chosen to include it. The optional bloodwork is highly encouraged as it checks vital organs and blood counts to alert us to potential risks and issues. There is an additional charge for the blood work. When it is time for their cleaning to begin they will receive an injection to relax them. We place an IV catheter at this time, administer their anesthesia and attach the monitoring equipment that will be used throughout the procedure. This equipment monitors heart rate, ECG, temperature, respiration, and oxygen saturation. Your pet is monitored by a technician at all times during the dental.

Radiographs are taken and the veterinarian evaluates them. If any teeth need to be removed that will be done at this time. The pet’s teeth are then scaled (cleaned) by a technician and the veterinarian examines the teeth and gums for pockets or any other abnormalities. The teeth are then polished and a fluoride treatment is applied. Your pet will receive a pain injection that lasts for 24 hours if any teeth were removed. They will also have pain meds to be given at home. Your pet will be closely monitored while they are waking up and during the day until they go home. At pick up the veterinarian will go over the dental procedures and answer any questions you may have. We ask that you feed them only small amounts of food and water that evening. It is not unusual for a pet to not want to eat the first night. They should be pretty much back to normal by the next day. Please give us a call with any questions or concerns.

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