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Lets Go To The Cat and Doggie Dentist!

Let’s Go To The Cat & Doggie Dentist!

Jose Sanchez
Larchmont Animal Clinic
2-15-17

When is the last time you’ve been to the dentist? An honest question, like many and myself included, it has been quite some time since our last checkup. For many, going to the dentist is just a pleasant routine doctor’s appointment.  For myself, I feel that it is not that I do not want to go, but it is the dentist probing and poking each tooth, your saliva been constantly sucked, and of course the possibility of more extensive dental work.  Now we as humans understand that this is all a necessity in order to receive the best care possible. However, imagine your dog or cat trying to comprehend all this while they are full awake. Most people choose not to have most dental work without the use of anesthesia. In the earlier article “February is Your Pet’s Dental Health Month” you understood why it is necessary for your pets to get dentals. In this feature, you will understand why it is necessary to use anesthesia.

Now the procedure begins while your pet is awake for the initial oral exam. This is done in order for your veterinary to design a preliminary diagnostic plan. Note that a thorough evaluation can only be done when your pet is properly anesthetized.  That includes looking through each tooth (especially the carnassial or molars which are found at the back), checking below the gum line and x-raying your pets’ teeth in order to make the best plan.

Imagine having your pet awake for just this process alone. Do you really think they will enjoy having x-ray film in their mouth and having your vet poke each tooth? We barely enjoy that as humans. When your pet is properly anesthetized your vet can remove tartar above and below the gum line (which can cause horrible diseases), polish, and extract any teeth which have decayed with ease. Anesthesia is not used solely aid in the best possible cleaning and treatment for your pet, but also to keep your pet as comfortable as possible. 

Often a subject of controversy, the big question is, if anesthesia is safe? Although there will always be a very slight risk, administering anesthesia has become a very safe procedure.  Even before any medications are administered your veterinary will do a physical exam and run a Pre-Anesthetic Blood Test in order to check the health of your pet’s internal organs.  Your pet’s age, weight, and overall health are also taken into careful consideration.

The Larchmont Animal Clinic proceeds in accordance with the 2013 AAHA Dental Care Guidelines for Dogs and Cats.  These guidelines include constant monitoring of your pet, carefully precise dosing, and safe anesthetics. Additionally, a veterinary technician will monitor your pet during and after the dental ensuring your pet a gentle recovery. Remember, getting your pet’s teeth cleaned is the task at hand but the overall priority is making sure your pet is safe.