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Your Dog and the Dentist: Learn the Drill


While "late is better than never," sooner is better than later, at least when it comes to your dog's dental health. Dental disease gets worse over time, and the longer you wait, the more damage that will have to be taken care of and the more expensive your vet bill will be.

Your dog probably won't need much work done on his teeth when he's still young... so your vet won't do much more than open his mouth and take a look at what's going on in there. But as he ages, dental disease can set in, especially if you don't brush his teeth (which you should be). So check him periodically for signs of mouth/tooth decay, bleeding gums, or abscesses. If you see or smell anything unusual, he'll need to go in for a cleaning and polishing, or "prophy," which is vetspeak for prophylaxis.

Unfortunately, "spit," "rinse", and "open wide" are not part of your dog's limited vocabulary, and that spit sucker thing is likely to terrify him... so, for everyone's convenience and peace of mind, your veterinarian will anesthetize your dog before doing any complicated procedures on his teeth.

Anesthesia is not without risks; therefore, your vet will require several precautionary tests before putting your dog under. This may seem rather tedious to you; but if you want to prolong your dog's life, you really should be taking care of his teeth. This may mean a few dental cleanings in his older years which DO require anesthesia to be conducted properly and safely. The good news is, the more you practice regular brushing and plaque control in the form of crunchy bones and such, the less cleanings and dental work your dog will require... so hopefully you can keep those vet bills down.

Expect the vet to perform the following precautionary tests to determine if anesthesia is a safe option.

- Basic blood tests including red and white blood cell count
- Kidney and liver evaulation
- Possibly a heart function test, if your vet detects a heart murmur
- Possibly a urinalysis if there is reason to suspect kidney disease

The above testing will require one or possibly more trips to the vet, as well as several days of waiting time before the lab results come back. Just like your family doctor, your dog's vet wants to give you as thorough an evaluation as possible so he can determine the correct diagnosis and proper and complete treatment for your dog's teeth and for his health in general.

Assuming your dog passes his health exam and lab testing with flying colors, your next scheduled appointment will be for the cleaning and dental work itself. Time to tackle that tartar!

The dental procedure may involve some if not all of the following:

- Anesthetic administration
- X-rays
- General examination
- Tooth extractions
- Tartar removal
- Polishing

The procedure may be as brief as 20 minutes, if your dog has mostly healthy teeth, but may take an hour or longer for more extensive work in the case of diseased teeth and other problems. If your vet detects slow recovery from the anesthesia, he may require an overnight stay. Your vet should keep you informed every step of the way during your dog's dental procedure, and alert you to any unexpected outcomes.

You generally won't be expected to provide any special care after you take your pet home from his dental appointment, unless of course your dog has had major surgery and/or tooth extractions. In such a case, he may require the feeding of softer food or administering of antibiotics for a little while. Your dog's vet will inform you of what if any additional care if any is needed, and whether or not your pup will require a follow-up exam.

Start taking care of your dog's teeth now, and you won't have to worry about costly extensive dental treatments down the road. A brief recap of how you can help:

- Get into the habit of regularly brushing your dog's teeth while they're still in good condition.

- Feed him hard, crunchy food and special snacks that will aid in plaque removal.

- Examine his mouth regularly for signs of tooth problems or dental disease- redness, swelling, abnormal gumline, difficulty chewing.

- Take your pup in for regular dental checkups and cleanings; typically, once a year if he's young, and bi-annually if he's a senior dog.

- Make sure that any dental problems are treated promptly by a certified veterinarian.

In short: take care of your dog's teeth, and ensure him a long and healthy life!

Copyright 2005 Dina Giolitto. All rights reserved.

Dina Giolitto is a copywriting consultant and ghostwriter with 10 years of experience writing corporate print materials and web content. Trust her with your next e-book, article series or web project, and make a lasting impression on your audience of information-hungry prospects. Visit http://www.wordfeeder.com for more information.


TODAYS NEWS BY OFFICEJAX FREE ADVERTISING AND AD EXCHANGE SOLUTIONSMORE PETS INFORMATION RESOURCES updated Sun. August / 09 / 2020

Why the French are 'European champions' at abandoning pets - BBC News
Why the French are 'European champions' at abandoning pets  BBC News

Pet Scene: Summit County's adoptable pets for the week of August 9, 2020 - Summit Daily News
Pet Scene: Summit County's adoptable pets for the week of August 9, 2020  Summit Daily News

Commentary: The science behind pets sunning and sleeping - Moscow-Pullman Daily News
Commentary: The science behind pets sunning and sleeping  Moscow-Pullman Daily News

How to Help Your Pet With Post-Quarantine Separation Anxiety - The New York Times
How to Help Your Pet With Post-Quarantine Separation Anxiety  The New York Times

Want to keep spoiling your pets during the coronavirus pandemic? Here’s the latest in 'pet tech' - USA TODAY
Want to keep spoiling your pets during the coronavirus pandemic? Here’s the latest in 'pet tech'  USA TODAY

In the aftermath of a disaster, one group looks out for Beirut's lost and hurt pets - CNN
In the aftermath of a disaster, one group looks out for Beirut's lost and hurt pets  CNN

Robotic pets used to remedy loneliness in nursing homes across Alabama - WIAT - CBS42.com
Robotic pets used to remedy loneliness in nursing homes across Alabama  WIAT - CBS42.com

Rabid bat found in Frisco; city recommends vaccinating pets - The Dallas Morning News
Rabid bat found in Frisco; city recommends vaccinating pets  The Dallas Morning News

Gallery: Pets of the week: Meet Inky - nwitimes.com
Gallery: Pets of the week: Meet Inky  nwitimes.com

Pet Vet: Urinary Issues in Pets - WNDU
Pet Vet: Urinary Issues in Pets  WNDU

Photos: 'Yappy Hour Yoga' combines pets with fitness - STLtoday.com
Photos: 'Yappy Hour Yoga' combines pets with fitness  STLtoday.com

Looking for a home: Adoptable pets in Lane County - The Register-Guard
Looking for a home: Adoptable pets in Lane County  The Register-Guard

Long-Term Signal Says PETS Could Run Higher - Forbes
Long-Term Signal Says PETS Could Run Higher  Forbes

Erie Humane Society hosts Bark Brunch to raise funds for shelter pets - YourErie
Erie Humane Society hosts Bark Brunch to raise funds for shelter pets  YourErie

How to deal with separation anxiety in pets as pandemic restrictions ease - WTVD-TV
How to deal with separation anxiety in pets as pandemic restrictions ease  WTVD-TV

Experts: Leaving family pets behind after quarantine may cause separation anxiety - KFDA
Experts: Leaving family pets behind after quarantine may cause separation anxiety  KFDA

Galveston County Animal Resource Center pets of the week - Galveston County Daily News
Galveston County Animal Resource Center pets of the week  Galveston County Daily News

PHOTOS: NewsChannel 8 viewers have some adorable pets - KTUL
PHOTOS: NewsChannel 8 viewers have some adorable pets  KTUL

These adoptable pets will warm your heart: Aug. 8-9 - SILive.com
These adoptable pets will warm your heart: Aug. 8-9  SILive.com

Protecting Pets From Raccoons - NBC New York
Protecting Pets From Raccoons  NBC New York

Pet-friendly design tips - Morgan County Herald
Pet-friendly design tips  Morgan County Herald

Galveston Island Humane Society's pets of the week - Galveston County Daily News
Galveston Island Humane Society's pets of the week  Galveston County Daily News

ISO Pets: Midnight, Momma and Spartacus need homes - The Morning Call
ISO Pets: Midnight, Momma and Spartacus need homes  The Morning Call

Pets of the Week: Remi & Kaiya - County 17
Pets of the Week: Remi & Kaiya  County 17

A safe place for grieving lost pets - WLUC
A safe place for grieving lost pets  WLUC

Tips offered for traveling with a pet | Community | times-news.com - Cumberland Times-News
Tips offered for traveling with a pet | Community | times-news.com  Cumberland Times-News

FL Firefighters Rescue Two People, Pets from Apartment Blaze - Firehouse.com
FL Firefighters Rescue Two People, Pets from Apartment Blaze  Firehouse.com

Points for Pets: Chronic ear problems in dogs usually rooted in allergy or hypersensitivity - WV News
Points for Pets: Chronic ear problems in dogs usually rooted in allergy or hypersensitivity  WV News

Plugging the hole in owner's heart after the loss of a beloved pet can be hard - The Tribune - Ironton Tribune
Plugging the hole in owner's heart after the loss of a beloved pet can be hard - The Tribune  Ironton Tribune

Pandemic got you down? Here are some funny pet pics - Chron.com
Pandemic got you down? Here are some funny pet pics  Chron.com

Donation ensures Florence County firefighters equipped to save pets - SCNow
Donation ensures Florence County firefighters equipped to save pets  SCNow

Friendswood Animal Control pets of the week | Lifestyle | The Daily News - Galveston County Daily News
Friendswood Animal Control pets of the week | Lifestyle | The Daily News  Galveston County Daily News

Pets of the week: One cat for a barn, one cat for a lap - Duluth News Tribune
Pets of the week: One cat for a barn, one cat for a lap  Duluth News Tribune

Pets of the Week: Sophie, Hanselina, Cloud and Olivia are ready for adoption - Long Beach Press Telegram
Pets of the Week: Sophie, Hanselina, Cloud and Olivia are ready for adoption  Long Beach Press Telegram

PHOTOS: Three Mile Bay church holds animal blessing ceremony - NNY360
PHOTOS: Three Mile Bay church holds animal blessing ceremony  NNY360

Harris County Pets announces free adoption days in August - KTRK-TV
Harris County Pets announces free adoption days in August  KTRK-TV

VIVA Pet of the Week: Molly - Lompoc Record
VIVA Pet of the Week: Molly  Lompoc Record

Coronavirus in pets, French research strategy and a duplication detector - Nature.com
Coronavirus in pets, French research strategy and a duplication detector  Nature.com

Pets with Potential: Abby - WCAX
Pets with Potential: Abby  WCAX

Pet advocate indicted for felony animal abuse, theft - Massillon Independent
Pet advocate indicted for felony animal abuse, theft  Massillon Independent

Meet our pets of the week: Two dogs and a horse - STLtoday.com
Meet our pets of the week: Two dogs and a horse  STLtoday.com

Florida ranks fourth for pet shelter deaths, but local facilities are more successful at keeping animals alive - yoursun.com
Florida ranks fourth for pet shelter deaths, but local facilities are more successful at keeping animals alive  yoursun.com

How dogs and cats can ease the loneliness and stress of the pandemic - LA Daily News
How dogs and cats can ease the loneliness and stress of the pandemic  LA Daily News

Alligators make terrible pets: 'You're basically dealing with a dinosaur.' - National Geographic
Alligators make terrible pets: 'You're basically dealing with a dinosaur.'  National Geographic

Cleveland APL pets of the weekend: Senor Bob, Six Horse and Cleo - News 5 Cleveland
Cleveland APL pets of the weekend: Senor Bob, Six Horse and Cleo  News 5 Cleveland

Adopt-a-pets: Aug. 9 | News | carolinacoastonline.com - Carolinacoastonline
Adopt-a-pets: Aug. 9 | News | carolinacoastonline.com  Carolinacoastonline

Two Ocala residents and four family pets rescued from apartment fire - Ocala News
Two Ocala residents and four family pets rescued from apartment fire  Ocala News

Pet Tales: Land donated to end flood threat at Orphans of the Storm shelter - Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
Pet Tales: Land donated to end flood threat at Orphans of the Storm shelter  Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

PETS OF THE WEEK - Urbana Daily Citizen
PETS OF THE WEEK  Urbana Daily Citizen

Pets and playthings … | Other Opinions - Aitkin Independent Age
Pets and playthings … | Other Opinions  Aitkin Independent Age

COLD NOSES: Adoptable Pets of the Week - The Florida Times-Union
COLD NOSES: Adoptable Pets of the Week  The Florida Times-Union

This Clever Seat Belt Keeps Your Pets Safe in the Car - autoevolution
This Clever Seat Belt Keeps Your Pets Safe in the Car  autoevolution

Tampa named most pet-friendly city in WalletHub survey - Frederick News Post
Tampa named most pet-friendly city in WalletHub survey  Frederick News Post

Summertime safety for your pet - MSUToday
Summertime safety for your pet  MSUToday

Philadelphia Ranked Among Top 50 Most Pet-Friendly Cities In United States - CBS Philly
Philadelphia Ranked Among Top 50 Most Pet-Friendly Cities In United States  CBS Philly

‘Raise a Pint for Pets’ to help raise money for local animal shelters - fox2now.com
‘Raise a Pint for Pets’ to help raise money for local animal shelters  fox2now.com

Craven-Pamlico pets of the week - New Bern Sun Journal
Craven-Pamlico pets of the week  New Bern Sun Journal

Workshop offers chance to make mini needle felted sculptures of pets - The Robesonian
Workshop offers chance to make mini needle felted sculptures of pets  The Robesonian

Volusia County to offer free pet food, microchipping - WKMG News 6 & ClickOrlando
Volusia County to offer free pet food, microchipping  WKMG News 6 & ClickOrlando

San Antonio Pets Alive! places two dogs up for adoption after owner dies of COVID-19 complications - KSAT San Antonio
San Antonio Pets Alive! places two dogs up for adoption after owner dies of COVID-19 complications  KSAT San Antonio

Army vet finds peace fostering pets, finding them homes - ArmyTimes.com
Army vet finds peace fostering pets, finding them homes  ArmyTimes.com

Pets can get nails trimmed, microchips at FurEver Home drive-thru event - Fremont Tribune
Pets can get nails trimmed, microchips at FurEver Home drive-thru event  Fremont Tribune

AI-Powered Smart Cameras Help You Maintain a Long-Distance Relationship …With Your Pet - Synced
AI-Powered Smart Cameras Help You Maintain a Long-Distance Relationship …With Your Pet  Synced

Pets of the week: Swiss and Bean are the missing ingredients in your life - Bucks County Courier Times
Pets of the week: Swiss and Bean are the missing ingredients in your life  Bucks County Courier Times

Pets of the Week: Aug. 9, 2020 | Lifestyle - Longview News-Journal
Pets of the Week: Aug. 9, 2020 | Lifestyle  Longview News-Journal

Young-Williams Pet of the Week: Huckleberry - WATE 6 On Your Side
Young-Williams Pet of the Week: Huckleberry  WATE 6 On Your Side

App Uses Pet Selfies to ID Shelter Pets - Bay News 9
App Uses Pet Selfies to ID Shelter Pets  Bay News 9

How to help pets dealing with anxiety - WWLP.com
How to help pets dealing with anxiety  WWLP.com

Pasco to end retail pet store sales of dogs and cats - Tampa Bay Times
Pasco to end retail pet store sales of dogs and cats  Tampa Bay Times

Pets of the week: Chance, Smudge ready for a summer staycation in their new homes - Burlington County Times
Pets of the week: Chance, Smudge ready for a summer staycation in their new homes  Burlington County Times

Carson City Humane Society's Pets of the Week: Sir Newton, Lord Leonard, and Lord Rock of Rochester - Carson Now
Carson City Humane Society's Pets of the Week: Sir Newton, Lord Leonard, and Lord Rock of Rochester  Carson Now

Pet parade held at Evansville assisted living facility - Eyewitness News (WEHT/WTVW)
Pet parade held at Evansville assisted living facility  Eyewitness News (WEHT/WTVW)

Arnold Schwarzenegger describes quarantine life with pet donkey and mini horse - FOX 11 Los Angeles
Arnold Schwarzenegger describes quarantine life with pet donkey and mini horse  FOX 11 Los Angeles

Lufkin police remind parents not to leave children, pets inside hot vehicles - CBS19.tv KYTX
Lufkin police remind parents not to leave children, pets inside hot vehicles  CBS19.tv KYTX

Clear the Shelters: Senior pets make wonderful companions - KTVZ
Clear the Shelters: Senior pets make wonderful companions  KTVZ

CELEBRATE COMMUNITY: Okaloosa artist paints shelter pets, offers artwork to new owner - The Northwest Florida Daily News
CELEBRATE COMMUNITY: Okaloosa artist paints shelter pets, offers artwork to new owner  The Northwest Florida Daily News

BARK IN THE PARK: Stakeholders gather to push forward project for pets - Tahlequah Daily Press
BARK IN THE PARK: Stakeholders gather to push forward project for pets  Tahlequah Daily Press

The Midland Humane Coalition’s pets of the week: Skulls & Pineapple - KMID - Local 2 News
The Midland Humane Coalition’s pets of the week: Skulls & Pineapple  KMID - Local 2 News

Clear The Shelters: Keeping Your Pets Out of Hot Cars - NBC 6 South Florida
Clear The Shelters: Keeping Your Pets Out of Hot Cars  NBC 6 South Florida

COVID-19 can affect pets; cases confirmed | AgriLife Today - AgriLife Today
COVID-19 can affect pets; cases confirmed | AgriLife Today  AgriLife Today

Colonial Capital pets of the week - New Bern Sun Journal
Colonial Capital pets of the week  New Bern Sun Journal

From Our Readers: Cats of Napa County 2020 | Pets - Napa Valley Register
From Our Readers: Cats of Napa County 2020 | Pets  Napa Valley Register

Pet stores in Kitsap can no longer sell animals from large-scale commercial breeders - Kitsap Sun
Pet stores in Kitsap can no longer sell animals from large-scale commercial breeders  Kitsap Sun

Help #ClearTheShelters by Adopting One of These Lovable Pets - NBC4 Washington
Help #ClearTheShelters by Adopting One of These Lovable Pets  NBC4 Washington

A Paws for Pets : The trouble with Charley - York News-Times
A Paws for Pets : The trouble with Charley  York News-Times

Pets of the week: A couple of cute kittens are looking for homes - MLive.com
Pets of the week: A couple of cute kittens are looking for homes  MLive.com

Nominate Your Pet For Clark-Garwoods Pet Of The Week - Clark, NJ Patch
Nominate Your Pet For Clark-Garwoods Pet Of The Week  Clark, NJ Patch

Watch now: Meet the Tazewell County couple fighting to change city rules banning their pet pig - Bloomington Pantagraph
Watch now: Meet the Tazewell County couple fighting to change city rules banning their pet pig  Bloomington Pantagraph

Homeward Bound: Pets' Incredible COVID-19 Journeys To Reunite With Owners - NPR
Homeward Bound: Pets' Incredible COVID-19 Journeys To Reunite With Owners  NPR

Majority of Pet Owners Give Their Pets Some Homemade Food - The Bark
Majority of Pet Owners Give Their Pets Some Homemade Food  The Bark

Toxic algae growing in Rock Creek Regional Park harmful to humans and pets - WJLA
Toxic algae growing in Rock Creek Regional Park harmful to humans and pets  WJLA

Pets - Anti Aging News
Pets  Anti Aging News

Clear the Shelters 2020: How you can help pets find their forever home - WKYC.com
Clear the Shelters 2020: How you can help pets find their forever home  WKYC.com

3 Hot Pet Stocks to Buy in August - Motley Fool
3 Hot Pet Stocks to Buy in August  Motley Fool

Adopt a Pet: Boo - Ellwood City Ledger
Adopt a Pet: Boo  Ellwood City Ledger

Pet Owners Are Sharing Photos of Their Dogs Doing Homework - My Modern Met
Pet Owners Are Sharing Photos of Their Dogs Doing Homework  My Modern Met

Aggieland Humane Society Pet of the Week: Mr. Meowgi - KBTX
Aggieland Humane Society Pet of the Week: Mr. Meowgi  KBTX

State grant to assist with pet sterilization – Henry County Times - The Henry County Times, Inc.
State grant to assist with pet sterilization – Henry County Times  The Henry County Times, Inc.

The pandemic's unlikely pet: Chickens - CNN
The pandemic's unlikely pet: Chickens  CNN

Owners warned stop kissing pets as U.K. latest to sound the alert over cat infected with coronavirus - MarketWatch
Owners warned stop kissing pets as U.K. latest to sound the alert over cat infected with coronavirus  MarketWatch

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