We find that anesthesia causes anxiety among many pet owners, and because of that, they put off dental cleanings for their furry friends. But those fears should be quelled when considering the need for crucial preventive dental care for cats and dogs. Today we’re discussing why anesthesia is an important part of your pet’s dental health program.

Advanced periodontal disease not only makes eating a painful experience for your pet, but it also puts a lot of stress on the internal organs with a constant cascade of bacteria. As with humans, this advanced dental disease can shorten your pet’s lifespan and decrease their quality of life.

The Fears of Anesthesia

Some pet owners are afraid that their pet may die while under anesthesia. But anesthesia – like any medical procedure – has risks, but it has never been safer or more comfortable than it is today.

How Anesthesia Works for Your Pet Dental Health

The simplest way to define anesthesia is that it is putting an animal into an unconscious state so he or she will be motionless and free of pain during a procedure.

Though many pet lovers think of veterinary anesthesia as a gas administered through a mask over the animal’s face, the modern practice of preparing an animal for surgery is a combination of injectable medications, anesthesia-inducing gas, and pure oxygen. The latter two are delivered through a breathing tube to maintain the pet’s unconscious state.

Why Prescreening Tests Are Critical for Proper Pet Dental Health

Pre-anesthetic screening is important because a physical examination and blood work can detect underlying problems that need to be addressed. In a young pet, the blood work could be used to check for anemia and basic indicators of organ health. In an older pet, it may include a complete blood count, thyroid screening, checking kidney and liver values and making sure all organs are functioning properly. A senior pet is more likely to have problems than a 6-month-old.

The Role of Anesthesia in Pet Dental Health

Your veterinarian does his or her part to make anesthesia safer and you should too. Prior to surgery, follow your vet’s precise directions – no food after midnight means absolutely no food. It’s a matter of safety!

During surgery, there will be constant anesthetic monitoring by machines and trained technicians, as well as the use of intravenous fluids to allow the veterinarian to react quickly if needed. Animals are kept warm, since shivering increases oxygen consumption.

What Dental Care Means for You and Your Pet

With safety measures in place, anesthetic risk is minimized to the extent that the benefits of dental care more than outweigh the concerns, regardless of the age of your pet.

Additional benefits of keeping your pet’s mouth healthy include the following.

No more bad breath: The terrible smell that comes from the mouths of many pets isn’t normal. Following a dental cleaning, you will find that your pet has fresh breath again, and it will last if you follow-up with regular care in the form of dental chews, rinses, or regular brushing.

No more fussy eating: The mouths of some older pets become so painful that the pets have difficulty eating. Once bad teeth are removed and associated problems are treated, eating becomes a joy again.

An increased lifespan: Chronic, advanced periodontal disease shortens a pet’s life by stressing the organs and immune system. The chronic suffering also reduces the quality of life for the years a pet does have.

Don’t waste another day worrying about anesthesia while your pet suffers. We are here to help with your pet’s dental health, with both the care he or she needs and the answers you need. Call our office today to schedule a consultation and we’ll take care of the rest.

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