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Many people have questions about various aspects of their pet's dental prophylaxis and we hope the information contained in this packet will help. The Staff at White Pine Veterinary Clinic feels that the more a pet owner knows about their pet's medical and dental treatments, the more comfortable and less stressful the decision for dental cleaning will be. It also explains the decisions and the preparations you will need to make before your pet's upcoming surgery. It has been proven that pets that have their teeth cleaned, when it is indicated; live on average 2-3 more years than pets who do not receive this important treatment. Our staff believes that dental cleaning adds more to a pet's comfort, well being and happiness than anything else that we do in the clinic. In order to do a quality dental examination and cleaning of all surfaces of each tooth and below the gum line requires a light general anesthesia. It would be impossible to perform this treatment without the pet quiet, comfortable and asleep.
Is The Anesthetic Safe? . . . Today's modern anesthetics and anesthetic monitors have made surgery much safer than in the past. We will do a thorough physical exam on your pet before administering anesthetics to ensure that a fever or other illness won't be a problem. We also adjust the amount and type of anesthetic used depending on the health and age of your pet. The following information on anesthesia explains this in greater detail.
Pre-anesthetic Blood Testing . . . is important in reducing the risk of anesthesia. Every pet needs blood testing before surgery to ensure that the liver and kidneys can handle the anesthetic. Even apparently healthy animals can have serious organ system problems that cannot be detected without blood testing. If there is a problem, it is much better to find it before it causes anesthetic or surgical complications! Animals that have minor dysfunctions will handle the anesthetic better if they get IV fluids during surgery. If serious problems are detected, dentistry can be postponed until the problem is corrected.
We include pre-anesthetic blood testing with every procedure that requires a general anesthetic.
The cost is included in the price of the dental procedure. It is important that anesthesia be done on an empty stomach, to reduce the risk of vomiting under and after the procedure. You will need to withhold food for at least 8 hours before the dentistry. Water can be left out free choice until you bring your pet to the clinic.
Will My Pet Have To Have Teeth Extracted? . . . Occasionally we will find teeth that are fractured or have a root abscess. These conditions produce constant discomfort to the pet, just as they would in our teeth, but our pets are not able to tell us they are in pain. Commonly, we will x-ray suspicious teeth and if we find they are abscessed or beyond repair, the pet is much better off with the tooth extracted. Before the extraction is done, we will deliver a local anesthesia so when the pet awakes, they will not feel any pain from the oral surgery. The tooth socket is then closed with absorbable sutures that will dissolve on their own in 12-14 days. Then, when going home the same day, the pet will then be started on oral antibiotics and continued pain medication for several days following the procedure.
Will My Pet Be In Pain? . . .A general tooth cleaning does not produce any lasting discomfort after the treatment. However, just like in people, if oral surgery is done some pain can be expected post operatively. Pets may not show the same symptoms of pain as people do - they don't usually whine or cry - but you can be sure they feel it. We use local anesthetics on the extraction site to keep your pet more comfortable for the first few hours after surgery.
Other pain medications will depend on the amount and type of oral surgery performed.
For dogs, we commonly will start our patients on pain medications before the anesthetic is administered to get ahead of the pain curve so the pet will feel comfortable the moment he or she awakes from the anesthesia.
For years we have under medicated cats for pain because cats do not tolerate standard pain medications such as aspirin, ibuprofen, or Tylenol. Recent advances in pain medications have allowed for better pain control in cats than ever before.
What Other Decisions Do I Need To Make? . . . While your pet is under anesthesia is the ideal time to perform other minor procedures such as nail trimming, ear cleaning, implanting an ID microchip or small skin growth removal, if needed. We will ask you about these extra procedures when you bring your pet in. If you would like an estimate for these extra services, please call ahead of time. This is especially important if the person dropping the pet off for dentistry is not the primary decision maker for the pet's care.
When you bring your pet in for his or her dental cleaning and periodontal treatment, please allow need 5-10 minutes of time to fill out paperwork, make decisions on other options available, such as implanting a microchip and also to answer any questions or concerns you may have before leaving. When you pick up your pet, you can also plan to spend about 10 minutes to go over your pet's dental home care needs and the options that will help your pet's teeth remain healthy.
We will call you the night before your pet's scheduled dentistry appointment to confirm the time you will be dropping your pet off and to answer any questions you might have. In the meantime, please don't hesitate to call us with any questions or concerns you may have!
Almost all dental procedures are sent home the same day because we know your pet is much happier and comfortable in their own home environment --- and therefore heals better and feels better sooner.
Minimizing risks to your pet is important to you and to our staff. Your role in your pet's nursing care and recovery cannot be over-emphasized. When you follow the guidelines below, you help insure your pet's surgery will be a success.
Awesome care as always. I have been taking my Fur family to White Pine since 1992 and feel fortunate to have such high quality care in Park City.