At New Perth Animal Hospital we perform oral examinations during every appointment. Your pet’s mouth should be examined by a veterinarian at least once yearly in order to detect and treat dental disease early and prevent more serious problems from occurring.
Preventative dental care is important for your pet and we do carry a variety of preventative dental products for both cats and dogs including but not limited to: toothbrushes, toothpaste, dental chews and special prescription diets. Our veterinarians may recommend one or more of these products depending on their oral exam findings. We know that not many pets will brush their own teeth (like our friend Willy) but we are always happy to explain or demonstrate the use of any of these preventative products. If you have questions about brushing your pet’s teeth or ways you might prevent dental problems, drop by to see us.
Unfortunately, once significant tartar or gingivitis has developed, your pet may be suffering from more severe dental problems occurring under the gum line and difficult for you to see. Bad breath can be one symptom but while dental disease can be very painful for your pet, it doesn’t usually stop them from eating.
These pets need a complete dental cleaning and polish under general anesthesia.
To ensure the safest possible procedure with all patients, we use a Cardell monitor which keeps an eye on your pet’s blood pressure, cardiac tracings, oxygen saturation and temperature.
Patients (dogs AND cats!) are wrapped in a “HotDog Patient Warmer” to help maintain body temperature which is so important during anesthesia. This special blanket has several safety features and sensors to ensure your pet does not become TOO warm. Small patients often have their paws wrapped in bubble wrap, also to help keep them warmer!
All patients have an intravenous catheter placed for emergency drug access and receive IV fluids to aid in anesthesia and recovery.
One member of our veterinary team is designated to follow your pet through their entire anesthesia, from start to finish. They will help with the pre-anesthetic exam performed by the doctor just before any medications are given, hold (and reassure) your pet during induction,and monitor your pet while they are “asleep”, carefully watching all monitoring equipment as well as checking your pet’s heart beat, breathing and body temperature. This team member charts your pet’s anesthetic information, marking down measurements every 5 minutes, but is also there to immediately alert the doctor to any changes detected so we can address them quickly. When the procedure is completed and the anesthetic turned off, this assistant will reassure your pet as they wake and continuously monitor them until they are fully awake.
All patients receive a thorough dental scaling (cleaning) and polishing using sterile equipment and performed by a veterinarian or veterinary technician.
With our digital dental x-ray unit, we are now able to take dental radiographs and assess your pet’s teeth even more thoroughly. In some instances, radiographs will show problems below the surface which cannot be seen without an x-ray.
If any teeth require extraction, this will be performed by the veterinarian. We use local anesthetic blocks or “freezing” to make extractions more comfortable too. If your pet has had any extractions, they will be given appropriate pain medication by injection as well as a prescription to take home.
Some dog groomers may advertise anesthesia-free hand scaling at an additional cost when taking your pet for grooming. As a veterinary team we discourage this procedure. Hand scaling will remove the tartar visible but only on the “cheek sides” of the tooth surfaces. Even wonderfully behaved pets will not allow scaling of the “tongue sides” or scaling below the gumline so the real problems aren’t being addressed! And, when scaling is not followed by proper polishing, the tiny scratches created on the tooth’s surface allow tartar and plaque to adhere to the tooth’s surface even more quickly.
It is estimated that 85% of all pets suffer from dental disease. At New Perth Animal Hospital we believe that prevention is key. We work with you to create a preventative plan tailored to your pet’s needs. Let’s work together to keep your pet as healthy as possible!