Did you know that 87% of dogs and 70% of cats over age 3 have dental disease making it the most common pet disease today?
Just like us, our pets need more than daily toothbrushing. They also need regular dental hygiene appointments that include full mouth x-rays to look for underlying tooth root disease! To give your pet the best, make sure they are receiving dental hygiene procedures that include: anesthesia, bloodwork, modern safety monitoring, intubation and airway protection, intra-oral radiographs or CT, sterile equipment, monitored recovery, ultrasonic scaling of teeth, gum care, and a go-home plan for care. For some pets with severe dental disease, being pain-free means also having oral surgery. Just like you, many pets need oral surgical procedures above and beyond cleaning and radiographs in order to stay pain free and live longer healthier lives. Proper removal of teeth and oral surgery involves anesthesia monitoring and safety measures, sterile equipment, properly trained surgeons and anesthesia technicians, as well as excellent pain control. We are here to care for your pet like it is our own and to guide you through these oral health processes!
What To Expect With Your Pet’s Dentistry Anesthesia in Carlisle, PA
NIGHT BEFORE THE PROCEDURE
- FOOD AND WATER: Please feed your pet their normal evening meal. Even if you don’t normally do so, please also feed an additional small meal (1/4 of the normal meal amount) between 10 pm and Midnight. This helps since they won’t be having breakfast in the morning. Once the bedtime snack is done, be sure to remove any access to food (even other pet’s food) but do not remove access to water.
- MEDICATIONS: With supper please give any prep medications labeled “Night Before”. These medications are very important to keep them safe and comfortable tomorrow. It is normal if your pet seems tired or even a little “drunk” after receiving the medications. Anesthesia prep medications are meant to allow us to give lower volumes of injectable and gas anesthetics during the actual procedure so they do sometimes have a mild sedative effect.
MORNING OF THE PROCEDURE
- FOOD AND WATER: Please make sure that water is still available – no food other than treats or 1 teaspoonful to give medications please.
- MEDICATION: Please wake up early enough to give your pet their prep medications labeled “Morning Of” 2 hours prior to the admission appointment time. If your pet felt normal or even was quite tired last night and appears normal this morning, give the medication exactly as directed. If your pet was quite tired last night AND is still quite tired this morning, then do not give the medication.
- BATHROOM: Please be sure that your pet has had ample time to use the bathroom to urinate and defecate as most pets prefer going at home.
DAY OF THE PROCEDURE
- ADMISSION APPOINTMENT:
- When you arrive in the parking lot – please text “ARRIVED” to the number on your parking space sign. Our phone lines will not yet be open and this will alert the anesthetic team of your arrival.
- A veterinary assistant will come to the parking lot and ask you a few important questions – please allow at least 15 minutes in your morning for this time.
- YOUR PET’S EXPERIENCE:
- Your pet’s personal patient comfort specialist will escort them into the clinic where they will be settled into a room with comfy bedding, relaxing scents, and a sound machine.
- During the day your pet will receive plenty of snuggles, an intravenous catheter, medications to prevent pain, anxiety, and nausea, and will have a certified veterinary technician monitoring their safety and wellness throughout not only the procedure but the entire day.
- For most procedures, your pet will also receive Class IV laser therapy to reduce inflammation, speed healing, and reduce pain.
- Your pet’s procedure will be complete by early afternoon (or sooner depending on the surgeon’s schedule)
- Please be sure to download our app so that you can receive updates about your pet during the day!
- PICKING UP YOUR PET:
- When you receive the invoice, please pay via our app – this makes discharge easier and faster!
- When you arrive at your scheduled time, please text “ARRIVED” and a veterinary assistant will come to your vehicle to go over at-home instructions.
- Your pet will then be brought to you by their patient comfort specialist who will show you the incision and be sure that all of your questions have been answered.
- Your pet should be able to get into your vehicle easily, but if they cannot the specialist will help you!
NIGHT AFTER THE PROCEDURE
- BEHAVIOR: As with any of us after anesthesia, your pet may feel tired, a bit nauseated and maybe not quite like themself. This is the time for you to schedule an evening at home to snuggle together! Sometimes other pets at home may treat them a bit differently the first night. If that happens just try to keep them in separate places and they will all be back to normal the next day!
- FOOD: For supper, your pet may not be very hungry. Even if they are hungry, only give them 1/4 to 1/3 of their normal food volume and do not push it if they don’t want to eat. You may warm the food gently or add warm water to dry food if you like.
- MEDICATIONS: If any medications were sent home from the prep visit with the label “Night Of or Night After” please follow their labels to administer. Maropitant/Cerenia is to be given 1 hour before supper IF you have it. Gabapentin is optional and should be given if your pet is restless and having a hard time settling down secondary to anesthesia.
- BANDAGE: If your pet went home with a bandage where the intravenous catheter was, please be sure to remove it about 1 hour after getting home. If any oozing of blood occurs, you may apply pressure with a cotton ball or ice cube wrapped in a paper towel. If any dried blood is on the site, please gently clean with warm water rather than hydrogen peroxide. Finally, just like with humans, some bruising or mild itching can be normal at the intravenous catheter site.
DAYS FOLLOWING THE PROCEDURE
- EATING: Your pet should be back to eating at least 50% normally the morning after the procedure and 100% the night after. If they are not, please call us.
- SHAVED SPOTS: Your pet may have a few small shaved locations on their body. These are areas where anesthetic monitors were applied or medications were given. The hair should grow back within a few weeks. If you notice your pet licking the area, that is because shaved spots can sometimes be itchy. You can apply a bit of ice to the area to numb it if the itch is bothering them. If that doesn’t help, please let us know.
- BOWEL MOVEMENTS:
- One bout of soft to liquid stool within 72 hours can occur. Do not be alarmed. If this happens more than once or there is any blood or it looks like black tar, please do let us know.
- Some pets do not have a bowel movement for up to 72 hours. If they are straining to go, or seem to be in pain please let us know, but it is normal after a fast and anesthesia not to go right away.
- VOMITING: One bout of mild vomiting within 24 hours can occur. If it does, hold back food and treats for 12 hrs. If this happens more than once or there is any blood or black tar present, please do let us know.
- DRINKING: It is normal for your pet not to drink the first 12 hrs after their stay and for them to urinate more than usual. This is due to the fluid therapy given during their stay in order to provide blood pressure support.
- PAIN/RESTLESSNESS: The first night home, if your pet is whining or restless, go ahead and give them their gabapentin dose that was sent home. If at any time in the days following the procedure you question if your pet does not feel well or is in pain, please call us. We want to help you to determine if this is the case and, if it is, can help them feel better!
- HOME BRUSHING: Unless oral surgery was recommended, you should start daily brushing your pet’s teeth with pet enzymatic toothpaste 48 hrs after the dental hygiene and prophylaxis procedure.
We know what it is like to have our own pets go through anesthesia and we want you to know that we are treating your pet just like they are our own!