Dental Treatment

Although the vet will have examined your pet’s mouth in a consultation, it is often not possible to fully assess all aspects of oral health with an animal fully conscious. Whilst under general anaesthetic your pet has had a full dental and oral examination looking for malocclusions (for example an over or under shot jaw), excessive tartar, fractured teeth, missing teeth, tooth abscesses, rotten teeth or holes in the teeth, gum disease, mouth ulcers and masses or growths within the oral cavity including the tongue, lips and gums.

Only once this full and thorough examination has been completed can the vet properly assess which, if any, teeth need to be surgically extracted. Once extracted the vet may have placed stitches in the gum to help speed up healing. All remaining healthy teeth will then be professionally cleaned and polished.

Your pet will have received pain relief before, during and after their anaesthetic and dental work: however dental work, especially extractions, can leave the mouth uncomfortable until the gums have fully healed. To minimize this your vet may have prescribed pain relief for use at home during the recovery period. It is very important that you follow the directions given to you about administration of this medication very carefully. It is especially important that you do not increase the dose of medication if you feel your pet is still uncomfortable as this can make your pet very ill; instead, please contact us immediately for advice.

Your pet should be encouraged to eat regularly after their surgery; however they should only be fed SOFT food for
the first 7 days. Ideally your pet should be kept on their usual diet to avoid upsetting their stomach – tinned food should be chopped up finely and biscuits can be soaked in warm water for 10-30 minutes then mashed up with a fork. The soft food is to prevent trauma to the healing gums and should be continued until your vet has checked your pets mouth and confirmed that it has fully healed. If your pet is reluctant to eat then warming the food slightly can help tempt them.

If your pet refuses to eat for 24 hours or more please contact us for advice. Your pet should be discouraged from playing with chew toys and sticks until their gums are fully healed. They should also NOT be offered chews such as rawhide chews, bones or even dental chews until your vet confirms their mouth is healed.

Once your pets mouth is fully healed then it is important that you start a regular dental care routine at home to prevent further tartar build up and to maintain healthy gums. Without regular home care it is likely that your pet will have future dental problems and may require repeated dental treatments which carry a risk for your pet, as well as a financial burden. Regular dental care is best achieved through daily tooth brushing using a small soft bristled tooth brush and a suitable animal tooth paste recommended to you by your vet. Tooth brushing is well tolerated by most pets and can allow you to identify any potential problems very early, thus helping increase the health of your
pet.

Depending on your pet’s current health, age and stage of life a special dental diet may be recommended to you. The diet has been proven to help prevent tartar build up through friction on the teeth and can help maintain gum health. It is not a suitable diet for all animals so please follow your vet or nurses advice as to feeding this diet. As well as the special dental diet there are dental chews available for dogs and cats, although they can help maintain oral health they are not a substitute for daily tooth brushing and can contain very high fat levels so should only be used sparingly as part of a balance lifestyle.

To ensure your pet’s mouth is maintained in as healthy a state as possible your pet should have a dental check up every 6 months. This can be incorporated with a general health check by the vet, for example at the time of a booster.

Surgery

The night before, please give your pet a small meal at midnight and then remove any uneaten food. Water should be freely available at all times.

Cats should be confined to the house overnight to prevent scavenging or hunting.

For comfort and hygiene, please allow your pet to relieve itself before admission.

On admission you will be asked to sign a consent form for the procedure that your pet will be undergoing. Please read this thoroughly before signing and leave a contact telephone number for the day. Please ensure that someone will be available at this number at all times.

Please inform the vet or nurse on admittance if your pet has ever had any history of heart problems, a fit, liver or kidney disease or any previous bad reactions to any drugs (e.g. antibiotics, anaesthetics etc.). We would also appreciate being advised if your pet is inclined to become aggressive.

Following admission, your pet will receive a pre-med. This helps to relax the patient and reduced the amount of anaesthetic agent required. Animals that are being sedated for procedures rather than anaesthetized will not require a pre-med.

A number of sedative and anaesthetic drugs are given directly into the vein. Therefore your pet may have fur clipped on one or both front legs, as well as the site of any surgical operation.

All sedation, anaesthetic and surgical procedures, however minor carry some risk. Although all patients are thoroughly examined prior to surgery, and modern anaesthetic drugs and techniques are used, owners must be aware of, and be prepared to accept the risks involved.

Under sedation and anaesthesia is an ideal time to have your pet microchipped. This is a tiny chip inserted under the skin and is used to trace you if your pet is lost. Please inform the nurse or vet on admittance if you would like one inserted.

It is strongly advised to have your pet fully vaccinated and boosters up to date before admittance.

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