DENTAL TIPS FOR CATS & DOGS
Brushing your pet’s teeth regularly can help control plaque build-up that leads to dental disease. Specially made toothbrushes for dogs and cats are available to purchase. Toddler toothbrushes are also a great alternative. Label your pet’s toothbrush and keep it separately. In selecting a toothpaste, always remember not to use human toothpaste as it can upset your pet’s stomach. Most pet toothpaste comes in chicken or beef flavours.
Introducing your pet to teeth brushing
Often, most cats and dogs feel more comfortable if they sit on their owner’s lap while doing teeth brushing. As recommended, you have to begin slowly, and remember that initial sessions should be brief. Pets like the tastes of their own food, so try dipping their toothbrushes in a tuna, chicken or beef broths.
Once you observe that your pet is comfortable with the brush, try brushing one or two strokes on a few teeth and slowly increase the brushing as your pet becomes more relaxed. Start at the front of the mouth as pets are often more accepting by this method.
Five Steps to Effective Teeth Brushing
- Add toothpaste – Apply a small amount of toothpaste to the brush. (Do not use human toothpaste)
- Correct Angle – Hold brush at a 45-degree angle to gum line.
- Circular Motion – Use the toothbrush in a circular motion with gentle pressure on the teeth and gum line
- Brush for 30 to 60 seconds – Brush each side of the mouth for at least 30-60 seconds, and also the back part
- Reward – Reward your pet for their good oral hygiene behaviour
Alternatives to Teeth Brushing
Treats and Chews
Encourage your pets to chew by giving some large & hard products like pig’s ears, noses, and trotters. You can also give rawhide and Denta-bones. Through physical rubbing and spreading of protective saliva, plaque is removed by chewing mechanism. However, these should not be relied on solely for dental prevention, as they could not give the best results.
Many premium dental foods and special treats are now available for both cats and dogs. They are specially designed to keep your pets’ teeth clean while providing them with balanced and complete nutrition. These foods contain enzymes and ingredients similar to those found in our toothpaste, which helps slow down the dental disease process and help prevent plaque formation. It is best to provide them with these special diets after their teeth have been professionally scaled and polished.
Oral and Dental Treatments
Using a rinse or gel may be advisable for pets with severe dental and gum disease or bad breath. Gum protectant applications may also be prescribed for pets with gum issues.
There are a lot of dental toys available in the market now. This could help prevent dental issues in developing but dental toys are not also effective as the professional scaling and polishing.
Veterinary Dental Treatments
In most pets’ lives, there comes a time when their teeth may require professional veterinary treatment. Treatment involves a complete dental examination while your pet is under an anesthesia, including scaling and polishing.
If you think your furry friend has some dental issues such severe gingivitis, plaque and tartars, take them to the vet for a proper diagnosis. Of course, it’s always best to get a professional opinion to avoid serious periodontal diseases to develop.
Your City Vet Clinic team of veterinarians will help you develop the best dental plan tailored to your pet. And that is the reason why we always recommend having your pet checked for wellness exams at least once or twice a year.
PET DENTAL GRADING CHART
Dental disease in pets often slips below the radar as the problems are not always noticed or are left unmanaged. By the time they start to go off from food or develop a bad breath, the disease is already quite advanced.
The key to maintaining good dental health is early prevention. The City Vet Clinic team of dental experts are always here to provide you sound advice when it comes to your pet’s oral hygiene.
Call 800-3990 or send us an email at [email protected] for assistance.
PREPARING YOUR PET FOR SURGERY
Preparing your pet for surgery could be a worrying time. Whether your pet has a routine surgery or a more complex procedure, it’s natural to feel anxious. However, rest assured that your pets are treated as one among our own under our care. As we understand and value the bond between you and your pet, we are committed to providing the most effective veterinary care.
To ensure we provide these standards, your City Vet Clinic team will discuss with you the following key points before your pet undergoes surgery.
Companion pets’ anesthetic agents are incredibly safe. Unlike humans, pets cannot always tell us once they feel sick and because of their instinct to protect themselves, they often hide their illness. To better assess your pet’s overall health and ensure no underlying problems, performing a blood test before induction of anesthesia is necessary. To eliminate drugs and medications, this can often be a laboratory test that examines your pet’s major organs, like the liver and kidney functions. It also identifies abnormalities in blood cells like the flexibility to hold oxygen and fight infection and clots.
If the test results are normal, we are going to proceed with the surgery confidently. However, if the results returned abnormal, we might postpone the procedure to observe and treat your pet first.
- Fluid Therapy – Every patient undergoing a general anesthetic and surgery should be given intravenous fluids. This will help maintain your pet’s blood pressure during the procedure and support organ functions. In addition, this suggests a safer anesthetic and a smoother recovery.
- Pain Relief – Pain management is a vital part of the mental & physical wellbeing of a pet following surgery. In most cases, we provide take-home medication so your pet can still recover comfortably at home.
- Tailored Anesthesia – The surgeon will check and administer an individual anesthetic program based on your pet’s current condition, age, and breed. We also use specialized equipment to observe your pet during the process.
Monitoring Before and After Surgery
Your City Vet Clinic dedicated nursing team will monitor your pet’s condition before, during, and after the surgery. This is often for your peace of mind to ensure that your pet is under the watchful eye of caring veterinary professionals.
The Day Before
The most important thing to remember is to bring your pet in fasted. This is taking away solid food for at least 8-10 hours before the surgery day. A small amount of water is acceptable the day of the procedure, otherwise advised by the surgeon.
Grooming/Bathing a Day Before
We usually recommend avoiding bathing or showering your pet for at least 10 days after a sterile procedure. If your pet requires bathing, we advise you to have it done before the scheduled surgery.
Arriving at The City Vet Clinic
During admission, we will ask you to complete a consent form that will include your contact phone numbers and relevant information about your pet. If your pet has recently been unwell, we request that you share this information with the admitting vet. Depending on the type of surgery being undertaken, you must inform or relay all pertinent information.
The Surgery Day
Once admitted, we will perform a health check and administer a sedative to help your pet feel comfortable and relaxed. An attending veterinary nurse will constantly monitor your pet’s vital signs during and after the induction of an anesthetic agent. After the surgery, your pet will be transferred to our recovery room. Our veterinary nurse will continue to monitor and give your pet the attention they deserve and, of course, lots of cuddles during the recovery period.
Your Day as the Owner
We are often asked if the owner should stay home to take care of his pet after surgery. Generally, pets make a fast recovery after routine surgeries, so staying at home is not necessary. All they need is to have a comfortable and warm place to rest. If you consider making unique plans to be with your pet during the recovery, we suggest you take a day off after the surgery.
Picking Up your Pet
A medical team member will explain how to take care of your friend at home during the discharge time. In addition, they will provide you with post-surgery information. A detailed discharge home instruction will be provided as well to make sure proper aftercare is observed.
Pet’s recovery after surgery may be an uncomfortable experience. Observe the following information to ensure your furry friend recovers as quickly and comfortably as possible.
A general anesthetic and a sedative have been given during the procedure to ensure your pet’s safety and total comfort. You may notice a clipped area on the foreleg as most anesthetics were administered through an intravenous injection. Gas sedation is given through a unique tube in the windpipe, which can cause some irritations that may result in a mild cough following the procedure. This usually clears up within 24 hours. However, if it continues, we ask you not to hesitate to contact our veterinary team.
My pet looks pretty sleepy; is that normal?
The general anesthetic or sedative can take several hours to wear off and, in some cases, can cause patients to appear tired for a day or so. However, over the next couple of days, their behaviour should return to normal. If you are concerned at any time, please call your City Vet team.
Can I feed my pet tonight?
Your pet may feel a bit tired, pale and hungry; however, giving too much food can cause vomiting. You can offer a small amount of food unless indicated otherwise by your veterinarian. If you have been instructed to restrict solid food, ensure that you have enough water on their side.
How do I take care of my pet’s wound?
The recovery process usually takes 10 to 14 days, and during this period, the wound must be kept clean and dry. Check bandages, casts, and sutures daily and don’t bathe your pet or allow them to swim. The wound should be checked as well for excessive swelling, discharge, gaping, or self-inflicted damage. If you’ve got any concerns, please get in touch with our team.
There are other surgeries that a veterinarian might insert a drain into the surgery site; in this case, you will notice that it might ooze over the next few days. This is often normal and has been placed to encourage fluid movement away from the surgery site. Again, unless restricted, you can use saline water to clean the drain if it is dirty.
My pet keeps on licking or chewing the stitches.
If your pet has stitches, they might chew or lick them, causing harm and, in some cases, wound infection. If your pet shows interest in the wound, we recommend ensuring that the e-collar is correctly placed around your pet’s neck. Some sprays that taste bitter are also available to apply to the wound to discourage licking. Just ask our team for the right product before giving it to your pet. Please remember you’re liable for your pet’s aftercare. Re-suturing of wounds may incur an additional cost.
Something’s not right, what should I do?
Signs that you have to observe that may indicate an issue:
- Extensive Lethargy (particularly after 24 hours)
- Excessive Redness around the Surgery site
- Swelling or Lump around the Surgery site
- Bleeding or Discharge from the Wound
- Continuous Licking
- Odor from Bandage site
Ensure to contact our clinic if you have any doubts or concerns following the surgery.
The Elizabethan Collar
E-collars are easy to place and can be removed whenever necessary. You can take off the collar under supervision, otherwise instructed by your vet. Most pets will learn to eat, sleep and be their usual selves after a day or so. A few days of having the e-collar can reduce the risk of severe self-injury and prevent further issues.