Dentistry for your Pets
We perform dental services at all of our locations. Denistry is done under general anesthesia and therefore requires blood testing to be done within 30 days of the procedure to ensure screening for various health issues.
Teeth cleaning and polishing
General exams of the mouth sometimes not possible when the pet is awake.
As with all anesthesia a minimum of two licensed professional are present at all times to perform the procedure while another monitors anesthesia and vital signs. Vitals signs monitored continuously and are recorded every five minutes.
Notes On Comparing Cost
The following is including in part of every dental treament plan we provide to each client before doing a procedure:
This dental treatment plan includes all of the items we routinely include and do to ensure the safety and comfort of your pet.
Please read the detailed explanation of each and every item to understand what we are doing and why. If you price compare the treatment plan and find lower costs elsewhere please ask the lower cost estimate provider if their estimate specifically includes everything we do and if not, why.
Our goal is to educate you and ensure the safety and comfort of your pet and that you understand why almost none of these items are optional.
IMPORTANT: Detailed explanation of each item on the following pages.
The doctor does the pre-surgical exam prior to the procedure. The exam is free of charge. We ensure all our patients appear healthy on the day of the procedure by double checking heart, lungs, and vital signs prior to giving any medications.
Pre-operative blood work (either Young Healthy or Older Pet is done):
Young Healthy Pet
These tests do a complete blood count, measure certain chemistry values and assure proper blood clotting function. These tests are required to check the functioning of the internal organs to ensure your pet can appropriately handle the anesthetic agents that will be used during the procedure. The blood tests are usually done a day or so before the surgery.
We check a full set of chemistry values for older pets for liver, kidney, pancreas and other body chemistry values, a full complete blood count (CBC) and thyroid test to ensure no hidden conditions exist which might cause us to postpone a procedure and for all anesthetic agent safety reasons.
Hospitalization Per Day:
Hospitalization is the charge for us to take care of your pet during the day; to be closely monitored by technicians and doctors throughout the surgery, and following the surgery. An assistant sits with your pet until they are completely awake from anesthesia and showing normal temperature and vital signs.
Hospitalization includes a clean cage, clean towels and cushions to make a soft, comfortable bed before and after the surgery. We also feed you pet once their procedure is finished and they are awake. Dogs are walked, cats get litter boxes.
Intravenous (IV) Catheter:
The I.V. catheter is placed into a vein by a Licensed Veterinary Technician (LVT) with the help of an assistant. The catheter is important for a number of reasons. Anesthesia lowers blood pressure as well as making your pet unaware of what is happening.
The catheter allows fluids to flow directly into your pets bloodstream to help keep blood pressure at a proper level. It allows additional medications (if needed) to quickly get into the body for quick effect via direct injection through the catheter so that in the case of a rare adverse anesthetic event, the doctor and anesthetist (LVT) can correct the problem immediately.
The catheter stays in place until your pet is awake, stable and fluids are no longer needed.
Fluid Setup (IV):
The fluid setup charge provides for a new bag of fluids and new fluid line specifically and only for your pet. These are attached to the fluid pump to allow the hydrating fluids to flow directly into your pets bloodstream via the IV Catheter, before, during and after the anesthesia and procedure.
Note: The other method for delivering fluids is under the skin. However, this does NOT allow the use of a fluid pump and NOT provide the same positive effect on blood pressure as fluids delivered via IV catheter.
Every pet can respond a bit differently to anesthesia. The fluid pump allows for the accurate dosing of fluids via IV catheter before, during and after the surgery and can be quickly adjusted, if needed, to ensure proper hydration and blood pressure.
Vital Signs Monitoring:
Vital Signs Monitoring is always part of in every anesthesia process (surgery or dental). We do not add an additional charge to do so and in many ways is the most important thing we do.
The electronic monitor shows blood pressure, heart rate, oxygen concentration, EKG (how the heart is doing) and CO2 level monitoring. The anesthetist carefully observes your pet throughout the surgery looking at the monitor, manually checking heart rate as well and personally and directly observing a variety of body responses to the surgical procedure and anesthesia – in other words we double check what the electronic monitoring reports.
We use heated surgical tables and other warming devices as needed to help maintain correct body temperature before, during and after the procedure. These are temperature controlled to NEVER burn your pet.
We have a minimum of three people in each surgery. The Veterinarian doing the surgery, the Licensed Veterinary Technician monitoring the anesthesia and the assistant who also observes vital signs and records these every five minutes until your pet is awake. The assistant also stays with your pet near their cage until they are fully awake with a stable body temperature.
Anesthesia pre-med is an intramuscular injection of sedating drugs, given prior to the placement of an IV catheter. The sedation lowers stress levels and relaxes your pet enough so that preparing them for surgery is easier for all.
Anesthesia induction is the next step and causes your pet to be relaxed enough to place a breathing tube down their airway (Intubation). The intubation allows us to assist their breathing during the procedure. All of this is checked by the LVT and the Doctor. The intubation protects the lungs from any contamination (such as vomiting) which can happen during anesthesia and avoids the possibility of pneumonia. The intubation is the way the gas anesthesia and oxygen is given to your pet during the procedure, without intubation you cannot safely and accurately give gas anesthesia and oxygen.
Pain Management Injection:
All of our patients are administered a pain management injection during surgery. All surgery is painful, especially abdominal surgery such as spays and pain medications are required to make them comfortable and pain-free after the surgery. Pain Management is not optional.
Anesthesia First 30 Minutes:
Gas anesthesia is better than injectable anesthesia. Gas anesthesia can be carefully and finely adjusted as needed depending on your pets response to the anesthesia. Injectable (into the muscle) anesthesia is not adjustable and remains longer in the body and we do not use it as the primary anesthesia. When gas anesthesia is turned off at the end, your pet wakes up fairly rapidly and is alert much sooner then with injectable anesthesia.
As they awaken, their swallow reflex returns and that is the signal to remove the intubation which has been protecting the airway and the lungs. Once the swallow reflex returns, the danger of foreign material such as saliva or vomiting (rare) getting into the lungs and causing pneumonia is past. There are usually at least two people present during the initial awakening process, more for larger dogs.
Anesthesia Additional per 15 minutes:
Depending on the length of the procedure we charge anesthesia in 15 minute additional increments.
Dental Radiographs (X-rays)
Some teeth are very obviously in bad shape and need to be removed, these teeth do not require x-rays to make this decision. Other teeth LOOK fine but underneath have rotten roots or other issues which can only be seen by dental x-rays. The only way to take dental x-rays is when your pet is under full anesthesia. Older pets tend to have more bad teeth. Some breeds of dogs, especially small breeds are VERY prone to bad teeth due to genetics. We only want to put your dog under anesthesia once, which is why we need the x-rays.
Any surgical extractions needed (IF ANY) require different amounts of time and different costs. We charge extract time in five minute increments. Hopefully, we have no extractions but this cannot be known until AFTER tartar is removed from the teeth and dental x-rays are done (as needed).
Teeth can have one, two or three roots. The more roots, the more time required to remove a tooth. Usually, a very diseased tooth is easier to remove that a tooth that is less diseased but still needs removal. The more extractions, the longer the anesthesia time.
We also need additional dental x-rays at times to ensure all tooth roots are removed from a tooth socket during an extraction as tooth roots mistakenly left behind can be VERY painful.
We do the scaling (removing tarter and debris) as the first step in restoring a set of clean teeth. After everything else is done, we polish to whiten and brighten the teeth. In between, we do the x-rays and any needed extractions.
Antibiotics to take home and an antibiotic injection will be at the discretion of the surgeon, depending on what is found during the surgery. If the surgeon feels that antibiotics are necessary to aid in the recovery, they will also be given and prescribed.
Pain Medication to go home:
Pain medication will also be sent home for the recovery period to keep your pet comfortable and happy which helps with a quicker recovery. Also, not optional. Usually NOT needed for a cleaning only.
Antibiotic to take home:
Usually, if the teeth are in really bad shape your pet has already been started on antibiotics prior to the dental procedure. However, more may be needed based on the Veterinarian's findings during the procedure.
An extensive variety of reasons exist as to why additional medications might be needed. We put an amount in the estimate just in case, but mostly these are not needed.
Nail Trim Complementary:
Trimming nails, if needed, is in many cases so much easier to do once your pet is under anesthesia.
Only if you want your pet micro-chipped to help in identifying them should they become lost and then found by someone else. A very good idea to do.