As a veterinarian, I discuss the importance of dental cleanings for pets numerous times a day. How even though we, as humans, brush our teeth twice a day every day we still need to have our teeth professionally ultrasonically cleaned at least once a year. So think about your pet, who doesn’t brush their teeth twice a day, and let’s be honest spends a better portion of their day licking themselves….it’s no wonder 70% of cats and dogs over the age of 3 have some form of dental disease!
But sometimes words are not enough. I recently had the opportunity to read another veterinarian’s story of their pet’s dental cleaning and thought it was a great idea to share with clients that even veterinarians practice what their preach. My cat Corwin had his dental a few weeks ago, my dog Wilson had his in the fall but now it was Lady Rowan’s turn and here is her story…..
Rowan is an 8 year old german shepherd mix so she is considered a senior. Like every other patient that comes into Beaver Brook Animal Hospital for an anesthetic procedure, Rowan had pre-anesthetic blood work done a couple of days before to make sure her internal organ function was healthy and could handle anesthesia. I was very happy to see her blood work was all normal!
Rowan started the day without breakfast which made her kind of sad but because anesthesia can cause nausea and vomiting it was important to fast her so that she wouldn’t aspirate food while under anesthesia.
She was then given a premedication injection which included a sedative to reduce anxiety as well as a pain medication. Her leg was then shaved and surgically prepped for her intravenous (I.V.) catheter so that she could receive I.V. fluids while having her teeth done.
Anesthesia was induced by and monitored by our Certified Veterinary Technicians and her teeth were ultrasonically scaled. After her scaling, her teeth were checked for any gingival pockets. She did not have any – if any were found, dental radioghraphs would have been taken to see if she had any tooth root abscesses that would require tooth extraction.
Her teeth were then polished to make sure any grooves that were put in her teeth by the ultrasonic scaler were smoothed to prevent tartar and plaque accumulation. A fluoride treatment was applied, followed by an application of a sealant called Oravet that would last for 2 weeks.
Rowan was then recovered with her technician continuing to monitor her vital signs in a nice warm heated kennel with Adaptil spray to reduce anxiety. Within a couple of hours she was back with her siblings – sleepy but in good health. That night she ate her dinner and had her dental CET chew like normal. The next day she was back to her normal bouncy poop eating self!