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A Day In The Life – Dental Cleaning

This article outlines what a typical day looks like for your pet when they come in for a dental cleaning.

9 am – Examination

Your pet has arrived with its favorite leash in tow. After making the trek from the waiting room with you to our treatment area they will receive a complete physical examination from the doctor on their case. During this physical we check things like how their heart sounds and if they are running a fever that morning, These are just a few of the things we need to check before considering placing your pet under anesthesia.

9:15 – 9:30 Bloodwork

Next up is blood work. If you have opted in to blood work completed we will collected a small (just one milliliter) blood sample. Then we will use our in house blood analyzers to have answers in just 15 minutes. This will help us decide if anesthesia is in your pets best interest. This is optional as is does add some extra cost to the procedure but comes highly recommended because of the information we receive from such a simple test.

10 – Sedation time

Now that we have all the information we need in order to make sure anesthesia is as risk free as possible. The bloodwork and physical exam went well so now we move on to giving the sedative drugs. The drugs are given in the muscle and are a combination of sedatives and pain control. These take about 15 minutes to take effect. When complete pets are awake enough to swallow but can not lift their heads. Monitoring during the effects of the sedation is very important as every pet reacts differently.

10:30 – Intubation and Induction

The process of being placed under general anesthesia is called induction. First an intravenous catheter is placed in order to admit medication as well as to ensure we have access in the case of an emergency. Using this catheter another medication is administered to make it possible to intubate (place breathing tube). Your pet will continue to breathe on their own but need this tube in place so we can administer anesthesia as well as maintain a open airway. Now we are ready to get started.

10:40 – Monitoring set up

While your pet is under anesthesia they are maintained on intravenous fluids as well as monitored for subtle changes in order to keep them at the correct level of anesthesia. They are monitored with machines as well as manually by your registered veterinary technician as well as the veterinarian on the case. We monitor heart rate, oxygenation, blood pressure and respirations. All of this information together is very helpful in maintaining anesthesia.

10:45 – Charting and Examination

Now its time to get down to the business of the teeth at hand. Your registered veterinary technician along with the veterinarian on your pets case will now chart and complete the initial examination of the teeth. Charting and examination is completed with a grading system that grades both the level of tartar and the level of gingivitis. After the charting we move on to a very important part of every dental

11:00 – Dental X-Rays

Dental xrays are completed very similarly to how you get your teeth radiographed at the dentist. Every tooth in the mouth has a picture taken to ensure it is indeed healthy and comfortable for the pet. Many pets experience pain that we do not notice since they are so good at hiding pain since they are originally pack animals. While these are completed your pets anesthesia continues to be monitored by the team.

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