When your veterinarian recommends a complete dental prophy (dental scaling and polishing) for your pet, your fears surrounding anesthesia may cause you to immediately decline this essential procedure. However, it’s very important to remember that even though anesthesia always comes with risks, it has never been safer or more comfortable for your pet, no matter his or her age. The benefits of a regular dental cleaning far outweigh the risks. It’s been proven that with regular dental care, you can extend your pets life by 3-5 years!
How we minimize the risks of anesthesia:
A full physical exam and bloodwork are always performed before your pet is put under for his or her dental procedure. This allows us to make sure that all of their organs are functioning properly and allows us to better tailor our anesthesia protocol to your pet’s condition.
It’s also important to note that anesthesia for your pet is not just placing a mask over their muzzle. Every animal is given a sedative and pain medication BEFORE the procedure even starts! This allows the procedure to be as stress and pain free as possible. In addition, every animal has a breathing tube in place to protect their airway, an IV line to give fluids and medications and monitoring equipment in place that records every animal’s heart rate, oxygen level and blood pressure. Each medication we use during the procedure is always selected carefully based on your animal’s age, and physical condition, and is tailored specifically for them!
When we say the benefits outweigh the risks- we aren’t exaggerating! This is a common example of the feedback we hear after a pet undergoes a much needed dentistry: “Fluffy had his first dentistry last week, and had some infected teeth removed, and I never realized how much pain he was in before, he’s now a new dog- so playful- like a puppy again!”
So please don’t hesitate to contact us at Acadia Veterinary Hospital if you have any other concerns or questions about anesthesia, or to book your pet in for a complete dental prophy!
Written by: Dr. Beth Martin