Don’t Bite Off More Than You Can Chew: Non-Anesthetic Pet Dentistry

Anesthesia is a scary event for many of us. Many pet owners recognize how important professional dental care is for their furry friend, but get a little antsy about the risk (and cost) involved with full anesthesia.

As opportunities arise for pets to receive dental care in other ways, such as a tooth scaling at the groomer or a non-anesthetic dental service facility, it is no wonder that people are jumping on board. But is it really the best choice? Goldorado Animal Hospital hopes that some more context about non-anesthetic pet dentistry will help you to decide how to best proceed with your pet’s care.

Pros and Cons of Non-Anesthetic Pet Dentistry

It is not hard to understand why anesthesia-free dentals are tempting for pet owners. Anesthesia always carries with it some risk, and the monitoring, equipment, training, and time it takes can add expense.

As an AAHA Accredited veterinary hospital we can assure you that we take anesthesia very seriously. Following the more current guidelines and safest practices our staff ensures that your pet’s anesthetic experience is as risk-free as feasibly possible. This is important, because we stand behind the belief that anesthesia is essential for the best dental care.

There are a few reasons that we need to anesthetize your pet in order to provide a thorough oral examination and dental cleaning:

  • Even the most docile pet doesn’t open wide and say “ahhh”, meaning that we cannot fully evaluate every surface of every tooth effectively in an awake animal.
  • 60% of your pet’s teeth, and potential periodontal disease, are under the gumline. We need to take radiographs and probe carefully in order to evaluate the health of each tooth.
  • If we find a problem that requires extraction or other surgical treatment, we can often address it right then and there without the need for another procedure.

This means that anesthesia-free dental cleanings are often incomplete and can create a false sense of security when it comes to oral health.

Potentially Dangerous Territory

Besides being overall a subpar method of dental care, there are some dangerous aspects of non-anesthetic pet dentistry. Consider the following:

  • Most pets will need to be physically restrained in some manner in order to accomplish the task. This can be dangerous for the pet as well as the person performing the cleaning.
  • Because the status of the tooth roots and surrounding bone cannot be assessed, serious and painful issues may go unrecognized. This leads to unnecessary discomfort as well as potential progression of the problem.
  • Some of the instruments utilized in a dental cleaning are quite sharp. Sudden or unexpected movements by the patient can result in injury.
  • Because pets are not intubated during a non-anesthetic dental cleaning, water and other debris can potentially be aspirated.
  • Because anesthesia is regarded as standard of care by organizations such as the American Animal Hospital Association and the American Veterinary Dental College, you can assume that those performing anesthesia-free pet dental care are either lay people or people who do not subscribe to the most current recommendations. Is this who you wish to entrust your pet’s care with?

Anesthesia-free pet dental cleanings may sound appealing, however the old adage that if something sounds too good to be true, it probably is stands. Our staff takes your pet’s care to heart, and there is a reason that we insist on anesthetic for all dental exams and cleanings. Give us a call today so that we can formulate a dental care plan for your pet that we all can agree on.

Pet Dental Care – Is it Really Necessary?

Pet dental care is a cornerstone of pet health

Did you know that the less-than-pleasant doggie or kitty breath you’ve come to know and love isn’t normal? By far, dental disease is the most common cause of bad breath in pets, and according to the American Veterinary Dental Association, up to 80% of dogs and cats develop some form of the disease by the age of three.

Making pet dental care a priority is one of the most proactive things you can do for your pet’s long-term health, and Goldorado Animal Hospital is here to get you started!

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Drumroll, Please! Presenting Goldorado Animal Hospital’s Top 5 Pet Health Blogs of 2018

Whether you’re busy preparing for a big end-of-year bash or planning a quiet evening at home, you’ll probably spend some time reflecting on the past year and setting a few new goals for the future. Here at Goldorado Animal Hospital, we’re so grateful for the productive and successful year we’ve had, and we can’t wait to see what lies ahead in 2019.

With our blog, we always strive to cover a wide array of meaningful topics, such as dental care, dog training, pet loss, and parasite prevention. Whether you’re new to our website or a long-time reader, we invite you to enjoy our picks for the top 5 blogs of 2018!

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How to Introduce A New Pet to Your Current Pets

Introduce a new pet to your other pets with love and compassion.

Congratulations! You’re adding a new pet to your furry family. This time is exciting of course, but can also be stressful for both you and all the pets involved. When you introduce a new pet to your existing pets, there are some best practices to follow which can help alleviate everyone’s nerves. Below, we walk you through how to seamlessly integrate a new pet into your home.

How To Introduce A New Pet…

Because the old adage, “you never get a second chance to make a first impression” is true in the case of how to introduce a new pet to your household, take special care in that initial meeting. We do recommend making introductions before you are fully committed to a new animal. It’s important to take things slow. If you need help, please call your team at Goldorado Animal Hospital.

Let’s get started!

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Tips and Tricks: Helping Your Pet Take Medication

Helping your pet take medication can be trickyWhen it comes to administering medication, there is no more formidable foe than your pet. And since a spoonful of sugar is not the way to help the medicine go down, at least for pets, giving pets their medication easily can seem like a daunting task.

Since you never know when your pet might need medication, it’s a good idea to learn some basics about helping your pet take medication safely and effectively. With a few tips and tricks from Goldorado Animal Hospital, you can forego all the acrobatics and ease your pet into the task. Read the rest of this entry »

Controlling the Mouthy Puppy

Everybody loves to play with puppies—- until those needle-sharp teeth sink in!  It’s entirely appropriate that puppies explore their world with their mouths and teeth, but important that they learn to inhibit their biting, and to restrict chewing to approved toy.  Here are a few tips until this normal phase of development has passed. Read the rest of this entry »

A Gentle and Healthy Approach to Children and Pet Loss

Children and pet loss are an emotional combo If we consider pets to be members of the family, our children certainly feel the same way. Kids tend to develop strong attachments to pets, often relating to them in the same way as siblings, playmates, and trusted confidants. The loss of a pet may be a child’s first experience with death, and how their grief is handled by the family can impact them throughout their life.

Children and pet loss is often viewed as a tricky subject, but it doesn’t have to be. Your friends at Goldorado Animal Hospital want you to know that we’re here to support you and your family as you navigate the aftermath of pet loss together. Read the rest of this entry »

Ick-Ick! Parasite Prevention and Best Practices for Removing a Tick from a Pet

Removing a tick from a pet is an important part of outdoor pet safetyWith the arrival of tick medications like Bravecto (which is taken once every 3 months and can totally kill ticks), it is possible to avoid the unpleasantness of the “icky” tick.  However, if your pet hasn’t been on an effective medication, beware. Because in the case of ticks, they’re everywhere! They lie in wait on tall grass and brush, are predominant in wooded areas, and active all year except winter, so it’s a good idea to know the score about removing a tick from a pet.

The Yuck Factor

Few bugs inspire such hatred from people. Related to spiders and mites, ticks are found around the world and throughout North America. The difference between these arachnids is that ticks are parasitic blood-suckers that just so happen to spread terrible diseases (like Lyme disease and Rocky Mountain spotted fever). Read the rest of this entry »

Rabbits Need Dentistry, Too!

rabbit needing dentistryBy Dr. Susan Garlinghouse

Most pet owners are aware that dogs and cats need dental care during their lifetime, but did you know that dental disease is amongst the most common problems in rabbits as well? Yes, rabbits need dentistry, too!

Rabbits are different from most other pet species, in that their teeth grow continuously throughout their entire life.  This is an adaptation due to the high fiber diet they eat in the wild, requiring more chewing and resulting in increased wear.  This constant growth is true not only for the front incisors, but the molars and ‘cheek teeth’ as well. Read the rest of this entry »