What You Need to know about Your Pet s Upcoming Dentistry and Periodontal Treatment

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1 What You Need to know about Your Pet s Upcoming Dentistry and Periodontal Treatment We are sending this packet of information in anticipation of your pet s upcoming dental procedure. 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 enclosed handout 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 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.

2 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. FOLLOW THESE IMPORTANT INSTRUCTIONS BEFORE BRINGING IN YOUR PET FOR SURGERY: ( ) No food after 8:00 p.m. ( ) Free-choice water should remain available at all times ( ) Remind the clinic about any drug allergies or other conditions that might be of medical concern at the time of dental procedure ( ) Exercise your pet the morning of surgery before bringing to the clinic to encourage urination and/or bowel movements. ( ) Discuss any concerns and ask any questions you may have. We really do want you to understand what we are doing, and why we are doing it. ( ) Be sure to leave us a phone number where you can be reached that day.

3 ANESTHESIA AND YOUR PET Many pet owners worry unnecessarily about anesthesia in their pets. Although anesthesia can never be completely free of risk, today s modern anesthetics make that risk very small. The same anesthetics that allow complicated surgeries such as heart and kidney transplants to be done on humans are used in pets as well. Even very frail animals can usually be anesthetized safely. In general, the risks from NOT performing a needed procedure, such as dental cleaning or tumor removal, are much higher than the risk from the anesthesia. We use pre-operative blood tests, ECG screening and radiographs (X-rays) to help us determine whether a procedure will be safe for your pet before it is performed. A full comprehensive physical examination will be done. We require pre-operative blood screening for all pets before anesthesia is administered. Even young and apparently healthy animals can have serious organ dysfunctions that are not evident without such testing. Chest X-rays are taken if there is any suspicion of heart or lung disease, or cancer. During anesthesia your pet will be monitored closely for blood oxygen levels, heart rate and EKG, core body temperature and CO2 levels throughout the surgery. This is accomplished with our state of the art electronic monitors similar to those used in human hospitals. Blood pressure will be monitored as well low blood pressure is the most common side effect of anesthesia. IV fluids will also be given to ensure your pet s full recovery. With our proper care and monitoring, your pet should go home after anesthesia just as perky and healthy as when he arrived at the hospital, whether he or she is 6 months or 16 years of age. If you have further concerns about anesthesia in your pet, we would be happy to discuss the risks and benefits of any procedure with you and explain the exact protocol that will be used. Please let us know!

4 Why Does My Pet Have to Have Pre-Anesthetic Blood Testing? The purpose of performing routine blood tests before procedures that require anesthesia, such as surgery or dentistry, is to insure your pet s safety by diagnosing any health problems not readily apparent on a physical examination. All patient s undergoing any anesthetic procedure at White Pine Veterinary Clinic are required to have such blood testing. These tests are preformed in our clinic s laboratory the morning of the procedure before your pet s anesthesia begins. The results are available in 20 minutes and require only a small blood sample taken from your pet s IV catheter. The cost of these tests is included in the price of the procedure and anesthesia. Many different aspects of your pet s medical status can be learned from blood testing. The particular profile we will need to perform varies with the pet s age. These tests may include: Blood Cell Counts (CBC) and Total Protein Kidney Function Testing Liver Function Testing Blood Sugar and Electrolytes Urinalysis Blood Clotting Times Heart Worm Testing Feline Leukemia Virus Testing Also if a heart abnormality is detected during our physical examination, an EKG and chest x-rays may be needed. ANY ABNORMALITIES DIAGNOSED MAY NEED TO BE CORRECTED BEFORE ANESTHESIA CAN BEGIN.

5 IV FLUID THERAPY No human anesthesiologist would have a patient undergo general anesthesia without an IV line and a fluid drip. The same level of care helps dogs and cats as well. Having an IV catheter inserted into a vein and administering fluids to a pet provides greater safety by: Helping to prevent low blood pressure and shock during the anesthetic procedure Replacing blood or other fluid loss Preventing dehydration during and after the procedure Providing an access route for emergency drugs should complications arise Speeding recovery All pets at White Pine Veterinary Clinic are given IV fluids via IV catheter using a fluid pump that accurately measures the rate and amount of fluids being administered.

6 WE ARE PROUD TO PROVIDE LASER SURGERY With the laser, surgeries can be done with: Decreased pain Decreased swelling Decreased bleeding We are one of a growing number of veterinary practices that use a surgical laser there are over 1000 nationwide. Along with decreased pain, bleeding and swelling, laser surgery also provides a lowered risk of infection. The laser fee for a Level I procedure is $ Level I procedures include: Spay or Neuter Declaw front 2 feet Dewclaw removal Remove 1-3 warts or papillomas Small skin, or subcutaneous tumors (0-20 minutes surgery time) Epulis (gum tumor) Laser fees may increase with more lengthy and involved surgeries. If appropriate, use of the laser may be included in your surgery estimate or may be offered as an option. A doctor or technician will happy to answer any questions you may have concerning costs or specific advantages for your pet.

7 CHOOSING TO MICROCHIP YOUR PET Do you love your pet? Would you want your pet returned if it were lost or stolen? Then your pet needs a microchip! Every day we receive calls about lost pets. Now we can help. Our hospital can safely and permanently identify your dog, cat or bird. A simple injection of a tiny microchip under the skin gives your pet A LIFETIME OF PROTECTION. All local animal shelters and veterinary clinics are checking stray animals for this device. It could save your pet s life. The ideal time to implant one of these microchips is while your pet is anesthetized for surgery. There will be no pain from the injection and you won t need to come in for an additional office visit later. The price includes registration with the Home Again National Pet Registry. Even if your pet is recovered in another state, they will be able to trace him or her straight back to you. The cost for the microchip and the registration is $ 65.00

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