Smelly Breath to Fresh Smiles

Your senior pet is in desperate need of a dental cleaning, but you have concerns about putting an older pet under anesthetic for a “cosmetic procedure.”

Well, first it is not just a cosmetic procedure. The bacteria that is in the mouth of your pet has been collecting there for years both below and above the gum line. These bacteria have access through your pet’s bloodstream to all vital organs in his body giving the potential for stress and disease on the heart, liver and kidneys not to mention your pet’s immune system is working in constant overdrive trying to keep him healthy while fighting off these nasty bacteria.

After a dental cleaning is completed, we so often hear from clients that their pet is brighter, sleeping less and seems like a puppy or kitten again! This makes us feel great as we know we have helped that pet live better and live longer.

When it comes to your pet’s anesthesia, we will run pre-anesthetic blood work before any medications to ensure the body can tolerate the drugs we are going to use. All anesthetic plans are created custom for your pet based on his blood results and physical exam the morning of surgery.

Your pet will have an IV catheter placed and get intraoperative fluids throughout the dental procedure. This provides us with IV access in case of emergency and allows us to maintain your pet’s hydration and blood pressure while anesthetized. The animal will be induced with a short-acting injectable drug and then hooked up to an inhalant anesthesia to keep him asleep throughout the procedure. Your pet’s vitals including, heart rate, respiration rate, blood oxygenation, blood pressure and temperature are measured regularly. We hook the patient up to a blood pressure monitor called a Doppler which allows us to continually hear your pet’s pulse, count the rate and check the blood pressure. We also attach a monitor called an SPO2 monitor which measures the patient’s oxygenation level and pulse. All our dental procedures include scaling, polishing, dental radiographs and an assessment from the doctor. This process can take a minimum of 1 hour and up to 2 hours depending on the size of the pet and how stubborn the teeth are to clean. We always put your pet on a warm air bed that will help to keep him warm during this time and cover him in blankets. A Registered Veterinary technician and a Veterinary Assistant will both be with your pet at all times. One person will be cleaning your pet’s teeth while the other will be always there to monitor the wellbeing of your beloved pet.

We at Hillcrest Animal Hospital work every day to keep your family companions happy, healthy and in your lives longer.

Written by Darlene Cannon, RVT