WITH NATIONAL DENTAL MONTH APPROACHING i THOUGHT IT WOULD BE PRUDENT TO BEGIN A DISCUSSION REGARDING NON ANESTHETIC DENTAL CLEANING VERSUS ANESTHETIC DENTAL CLEANING.
i WILL GO ON RECORD WITH MY SIMPLE ANSWER TO CLIENTS WHEN ASKED HOW I FEEL ABOUT NON ANESTHETIC DENTAL CLEANING.
"IF IT WAS BENEFICIAL TO THE PATIENT i WOULD HAVE SOMEONE EMPLOYED IN MY PRACTICE THAT PERFORMED NON ANESTHETIC DENTAL CLEANINGS, We DO NOT HAVE ANY SUCH PERSON EMPLOYED".
What is an Anesthesia Free Pet Dental Cleaning?
You might have heard about anesthesia free dental cleanings from a local groomer, pet store, word of mouth or even some veterinary providers. Commonly known as anesthesia free dental cleanings, the practice involves scaling (scraping with an instrument) of a dog or cat’s teeth without putting the pet under anesthesia.
Veterinarians often refer to the practice of scaling the teeth without anesthesia as non-anesthesia dental scaling (NAD or NADS), as the term “cleaning” is misleading to pet owners who have the impression that after one of these procedures, their pet’s mouth is clean and healthy. It may sound like a great option, but what exactly does this procedure involve?
Nobody could expect a dog or cat to patiently sit like this through exam, cleaning, cleaning below gumline and radiographs.
First, the title of the procedure is accurate in that there is no anesthesia involved. This means your pet must be physically restrained, some at higher levels than others, in order for the provider to access the animal’s teeth. A provider will often tell a pet owner it is just like a human going to the dentist, which is absolutely not the case. While some pets may appear to tolerate this restraint better than others, your pet is still being restrained for a lengthy period of time with no ability to understand why or what is happening to them.
How many people actually enjoy sitting in the dental chair, holding their mouth open while a dental hygienist scrapes mineralized tartar from their teeth? Imagine how a pet, who can’t communicate, feels when the NAD provider holds open their mouth and attempts to do the same. We can understand what the dentist or hygienist is doing and can be asked to hold still and relax, but the pet does not understand and thus will frequently require a traumatic restraint process.
The next step is using a sharp instrument to remove plaque from the visible part of the tooth, or scaling the crown of the tooth.
The discoloration of your pet’s teeth is essentially layers of plaque and bacteria that have built up over time, which is only eliminated from the visible portion of the tooth by using a sharp hand instrument called a scaler.
Consider your visits to the dentist and the minor scaling that sometimes has to be done to remove some of the tiny spots of plaque build-up. Now, take a look at your pet’s teeth and think about how it might feel to have that amount of build-up scraped from your teeth. It certainly could cause a great deal of discomfort and pain to your pet.
At the end of the anesthesia free dental procedure, the outside surfaces or your pet’s teeth may appear visibly whiter. However, there is much more than meets the eye. Because your pet wasn’t under anesthesia, there was no ability to clean beneath the gumline where the bacteria that causes periodontal disease occurs and causes bad breath and extensive damage to tooth roots and supporting bone structure.
White teeth do not mean a clean and healthy mouth. This is the most unfortunate misconception by many loving pet owners, who don’t realize the potential oral health problems that sit beneath their pet’s gums.
The best dental care for your pet is a regular veterinary dental cleanings under anesthesia. Learn more about veterinary dental cleanings and the benefits for your pet.
What is a Professional Veterinary Dental Cleaning?
As a pet owner, you have your pet’s best interest at heart and want to make the best choice for their care. When choosing your pet’s dental care, be sure to learn about a comprehensive veterinary dental cleaning, also known as a professional dental cleaning, and its long term benefits for your pet’s overall health.
What you can expect from a professional veterinary dental cleaning:
You should expect your veterinarian to educate you and allow you to ask questions about your pet’s dental health.
A veterinary dental cleaning always begins with an initial awake oral exam of your dog or cat’s mouth by a veterinarian or a veterinary dentist. This allows the veterinarian not only to get a general idea of your pet’s dental condition, but also offers you the opportunity to ask questions and to get good advice for home care that can benefit your pet.
Your pet has blood drawn for analysis to identify any potential problems that the doctor needs to be aware of and to determine if the pet is healthy enough to undergo anesthesia.
Your pet is anesthetized. This is what often worries most pet owners, however, under proper protocols anesthesia is very safe. We encourage pet owners to ask their veterinarian about their anesthesia protocol and experience prior to scheduling a procedure.
A veterinary dentist and some other veterinarians will also use a local anesthetic in your dog or cat’s mouth during procedures. This allows the veterinarian to use less general anesthetic thereby improving the safety of the anesthetic procedure and allowing your pet to recover more quickly and with less pain.
While under anesthesia, a comprehensive veterinary dental cleaning will include the following, without any pain or discomfort to your pet:
After recovery, your dog or cat is most often able to go home and unless an additional procedure has been done, your pet can eat and return to normal. Your veterinarian should give you a report of findings and any recommendations for home care in between cleanings.
Risks of Anesthesia Free Pet Dental Cleanings
“Anesthesia free” may seem to most like a less risky procedure for your dog or cat than a veterinary dental cleaning under anesthesia. Of course we all love our pets and are nervous about the idea of them going under anesthesia. However, when it comes to pet dental health, the risks of periodontal disease and oral health problems due to lack of proper dental care far outweigh the risk of anesthesia.
After years of anesthesia free pet dentals, this dog had lost so much bone structure due to undetected periodontal disease the probe goes through the entire jaw. This dog ended up needing 16 teeth extracted as they could not be saved.
Consider the following about anesthesia free pet dentals and Periodontal disease:
Today at 2 pm we will be holding our first webinar - ticks and lyme disease. We will be discussing prevalence, prevention, product comparisons and vaccination against lyme disease. FOr anyone that is concerned about tick disease and want to know what they can do to reduce infection rate in their pets this will be an excellent introduction.
For those that sign up and participate in the webinar we will be providing a free tick puller that can be picked up at the clinic at anytime.
We are seeing an increased number of cat fight injuries, most commonly abscesses. The reason we get more in mid winter/spring is that from around the shortest day (21st June) the tom cats in your neighborhood start searching for mates and securing territory for themselves. Even though your cats are neutered, the tom cats invade your cat’s territory. This upsets the usual territory boundaries that neighboring cats have set up and where a growl and hiss have previously sorted challenges they now find themselves needing to fight again.
We have made certain areas of the website accessible only through a member log in section. you only need to register one time and access will be made available within 24 hours. We will continue to update theses sections regularly for our clients education and will be SOON offering webinars as well.
We have some very exciting changes occurring this year that will benefit all our clients. Please check out our blog regularly for updates for our latest news.
Happily, for dogs or cats who are spayed before they are sexually mature (the usual timeframe for a spay is before 6 months of age) mammary cancer is virtually unheard of.
The terminology surrounding lumps, tumors and cancer can be a little daunting sometimes, and is often a source of confusion. One thing to keep in mind is that the word tumor does not always mean cancer. Cancer implies malignancy, or a predilection to grow rapidly and spread to other parts of the body: it’s a process known as metastasis, in which a tumor says, in essence, I’m outta here and decides to infiltrate new and exciting regions for growth. A tumor can be benign or malignant, but cancer is always malignant.
So how do we know which lump is bad, and which is not likely to be a problem for our pets? Sadly, there’s no easy way. Any lump found on a pet’s mammary gland has the potential to be cancerous, so having your veterinarian remove the lump and submit it for a biopsy is an important part of keeping your pets safe from this disease. A biopsy is a piece of tissue that can be preserved and looked at under a microscope by a pathologist to determine what the lump is (mammary tissue vs. some other tissue that just decided on a whim to form a lump) and whether the lump is cancerous, or as doctors call it, malignant. You can’t tell if tissue is cancerous just by the way it looks, how it feels or where it is.
Today we have an RCMP member visit to ask us to help remind pet owner to buckle up their pets.
"For safety reasons a pet should never be in the front seat of a vehicle. Should an airbag be activated, the force could seriously injure or kill your pet.
Just like people, animals need to be buckled up for safety. having your pet properly restrained in the back seat can prevent them from escaping, flying forward in your vehicle, or being hurt in a crash.
Keeping your pet secured in your vehicle also prevents your from driving while distracted. Driving distraction is a leading cause of car crashes in B.c."
- PER Oceanside RCMP
Straining is a frequent and sometimes exaggerated effort to have a bowel movement or to urinate.
It is often difficult to tell if the pet is having trouble urinating or defecating. Most owners think their pet is constipated when they first notice them straining. Straining produced by constipation may be identical to straining produced by a blocked urethra, diarrhea or an inflamed colon. Therefore, treatment of an assumed cause of straining may be the opposite of what is actually needed.
In cats, straining is often indicative of urinary tract inflammation. Cats sometimes develop a condition called feline lower urinary tract disease in which the bladder becomes inflamed due to an unknown cause. This can also sometimes be accompanied by tiny crystals in their urine. When there are too many crystals, they can plug the urethra (the tube that empties urine from the bladder) and prevent the bladder from emptying – this is a life-threatening emergency! The bladder becomes distended and the pet strains to relieve itself. Urethral obstructions are more common in male cats, while both males and females can be afflicted with urinary tract inflammation. Without help, this pet may be in critical condition within 12 hours. True urinary tract infections are actually quite rare in male cats. Dogs may also have obstructed urinary tracts due to stones, tumors or inflammation.
A fracture refers to a break or crack in a bone. There are several different types of fractures, and each type has different complications and methods of repair. Your veterinarian can help you decide how best to fix the fracture and if referral to a specialist is in your pet’s best interest. Although splinting will allow a small number of fractures to heal, most will require surgery to ensure the best outcome. Toy breeds of dogs (such as Pomeranians, rat terriers and similar small, long-legged dogs) always require surgery on foreleg fractures due to the high failure rate of splinting.
Shock is a condition resulting from a depressed state of many vital body functions caused by a lack of effective circulation. A veterinary textbook on emergency medicine defines shock as "the clinical state resulting from an inadequate supply of oxygen to the tissues or an inability of the tissues to properly use oxygen." The term ‘shock’ can mean different things to different people, and medical professionals still debate the true meaning of the word. Regardless of cause, shock is life-threatening and requires immediate attention and treatment. If signs of shock are recognized, or a serious injury has taken place, supportive care, such as intravenous (IV) fluids, oxygen and other measures can help reverse shock and prevent permanent organ damage. The key to successful overall treatment is prompt professional care.