February is National Pet Dental Health Month

Tom and Libby dentalHave you ever wondered what goes on once a pet is dropped off at our hospital for a dental cleaning? In honor of National Pet Dental Health month, we are happy to discuss the process with you. Once a pet is dropped off early in the morning, they receive a full doctor's examination including a weight and temperature reading to continue to ensure anesthetic safety. Next, a technician will administer an injectable medication with a mild sedative effect that will promote your pet's comfort and help manage any potential pain throughout the day. This medication is short acting and often repeated 2-3 times during the course of the day. As another anesthetic safety precaution, an IV catheter is placed in order to administer IV fluids for some time before the actual procedure begins. Once a pet is under general anesthesia and intubated, the technician performs a full set of dental radiographs for the doctor to review which can uncover many otherwise hidden dental health problems such as retained roots, bone loss, and underlying abscess. Next, the technician will use an ultrasonic scaler to remove any tartar on the teeth and under the gumline. Since the scaler leaves microscopic scrapes on the tooth enamel, the technician will polish the teeth to prevent future plaque and tartar accumulation. Along with providing the ability to regulate breathing, the endotracheal tube that was placed at the beginning of anesthesia will prevent the airborne tartar and bacteria from being inhaled. Your pet's safety is even furthered by the comprehensive monitoring occurring throughout the entire procedure. While under general anesthesia, a pet's heart rate, breathing rate, oxygen level, blood pressure, and temperature at the very least are continuously monitored and recorded. If teeth extractions are performed, then additional post-extraction radiographs, pain medicine, and local nerve blocks are also performed. At the time of patient discharge, we will give you before and after pictures, dental radiographs, and detailed instructions for after care for your pet.  Finally, we recommend a complimentary recheck one week after the dental procedure to check the mouth and discuss at-home dental care. Please contact us if you have any questions about your pet's dental health or would like a complimentary preliminary dental assessment performed. You can also learn more by visiting our Dental Care page.

February is National Pet Dental Month

LokiDentalMonthWe are offering a special discount and a complimentary bag of prescription diet t/d for each pet that receives a dental cleaning at our hospital during the month of February. Prescription diet t/d is a revolutionary diet that is clinically proven to reduce gingivitis and buildup of plaque, stain and tartar from your dog or cat's teeth. If you do not wish to take home the complimentary food, you can donate it to Ventura County Animal Service's Pet Pantry: food for needy pets. Regular dental cleanings and examinations are needed to improve the comfort and increase the lifespan of our pets. Dental disease can cause severe local and body-wide infections potentially affecting the sinuses, kidney, liver, and heart. It is astonishing to think that more than 85% of dogs and cats over the age of three suffer from some sort of dental disease. The most noticeable sign of dental disease is bad breath. Dogs and cats should not have a continual bad mouth odor. Please feel free to call us for more information or to schedule a complimentary dental examination with a technician to see if your pet needs a dental cleaning. Happy National Pet Dental Month!