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Pet Dental Care at Hazel Dell

What happens when your pet comes in for a dental cleaning here at Hazel Dell Animal Hospital?

During an Exam:

 The first step for when your pet might need a dental cleaning is for one of our doctors to perform an annual exam.  It can be difficult for owners to recognize periodontal disease in their pet, but not all pets need a cleaning every year. Most dogs will need a cleaning every 1-3 years and periodontal disease not only shows up above the gum line, but below the gum line too.  Dental disease may also be noticed when your pet comes in for reasons other than their annual exam. 

The night before:
To minimize the risk for anesthetic complications we ask that you to pick up your pet’s food bowl, at 8pm. Then, tuck everyone into bed and get a good night’s sleep before coming in to drop them off for their procedure.  In the morning you’ll pick up their water bowl too. 

Dropping Off:

We will have you drop your pet off between 7:30 and 8am.  One of our nurses will go over all paperwork prior to the procedure and answer any questions that you might have.  Please remember to save 5-10 minutes to have time to go over estimates and questions.  During this time, if your pet needs any additional care, such as a mass removal or more heartworm prevention, 
we will go over that as well.

Preanesthetic Exam/Bloodwork

We then will take your pet to our treatment area, where we prepare them for their procedure.  Our doctors will do a physical exam prior to surgery and we will also draw preanesthetic bloodwork if this has not already been done.  These steps help us be sure that your pet is ready for surgery. 

The doctor will then give the nurses the plan for the day and dosing instructions for medications that will be given. We start with giving an initial combination of drugs to help your pet relax before we place an IV catheter to administer anesthetic drugs and IV fluids.  Once an endotrachael tube is placed and your pet is ready for the cleaning, they will attached to a monitor and have a dedicated, anesthesia nurse who will check and record your pet’s vitals while under anesthesia.  An additional nurse will be scaling off the tartar and polishing your pet’s teeth.  This process is very much like the way it is done at your dentist’s office.

After the nurse has finished the teeth cleaning, the doctor will exam your pet’s mouth.  Dr. Bassett and Dr. McDaniel will assess the health of the teeth and surrounding tissues.  Sometimes a thorough oral examine can reveal a loose tooth, infection or an oral mass.  Our doctor can then discuss with you the best course of action if an extraction or other dental work is necessary. Pet’s often recover quickly from anesthesia and do better than you think with extractions, often feeling much better once the infection or pain is gone.  




After the dental cleaning is done and our doctors have had an opportunity to assess the teeth, we help your pet recover from anesthesia.  We will place them on and under blankets and let them recover at their own pace.  Many patients are awake within a few minutes and within an hour or two we take them out for a brief walk. They may feel the need to go after having had IV fluids.  Your pets will then relax throughout the afternoon until they are ready to go home.

Home Care
Most of the time there is very little home care required after the dental.  Most pets will go home with an antibiotic this prevents bacteria from causing a problem, which could be moving around your pets mouth after their dental  Those patients that require an extraction or a mass removal will also receive pain medication as well.  Most pet’s return to normal activities within a day or two, sometimes sooner!

The best part of all is that our pet’s overall health will improve and we get to snuggle them without stinky breath! Better kisses for everyone! Please give us a call at 317-846-8710 if you have any questions about our February Dental Month. 

~ written by Kathy, RVT ~


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