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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 Fri. January / 24 / 2020

The days of passengers bringing pets on planes could be ending as U.S. looks to tighten service animal rules - MarketWatch
  1. The days of passengers bringing pets on planes could be ending as U.S. looks to tighten service animal rules  MarketWatch
  2. Peacocks, miniature horses, cats could no longer fly as service animals under proposed DOT rule  TODAY
  3. Emotional-support pets could get bumped from planes by new rules | News, Sports, Jobs  Morning Journal News
  4. Feds propose limits for animals in plane cabins; Delta offers new crate for pets in cargo  Minneapolis Star Tribune
  5. Feds look to block pets flying as emotional support animals  Chicago Tribune
  6. View full coverage on Google News

Why are pets everywhere? Businesses, airlines cracking down on service animal rules - WZTV
Why are pets everywhere? Businesses, airlines cracking down on service animal rules  WZTV

Pets on the Plaza: Meet Link - 47abc - WMDT
Pets on the Plaza: Meet Link - 47abc  WMDT

Putting pets to the test for bacteria - WKOW
Putting pets to the test for bacteria  WKOW

Small Door, the OneMedical for pets, launches NYC location - TechCrunch
Small Door, the OneMedical for pets, launches NYC location  TechCrunch

Humane Society using new facial recognition technology for lost pets - Sonoma West
Humane Society using new facial recognition technology for lost pets  Sonoma West

Seven winter safety tips for protecting pets - WZZM13.com
Seven winter safety tips for protecting pets  WZZM13.com

Fliers May Have to Attest Their Pets Are Service Animals - Newser
Fliers May Have to Attest Their Pets Are Service Animals  Newser

Delta now offering ‘CarePod’ for travelers with pets - KSTU FOX 13 Salt Lake City
Delta now offering ‘CarePod’ for travelers with pets  KSTU FOX 13 Salt Lake City

Ribbon-cutting ceremony at Hospitality Hose officially launches new pet program – video - YubaNet
Ribbon-cutting ceremony at Hospitality Hose officially launches new pet program – video  YubaNet

Pets of the Week - Clarksville Now
Pets of the Week  Clarksville Now

Pets of the Week: January 23, 2019 - WSIL TV
Pets of the Week: January 23, 2019  WSIL TV

Sheriff: Two killed in house fire trying to rescue pets - UpNorthLive.com
Sheriff: Two killed in house fire trying to rescue pets  UpNorthLive.com

Adorable & Adoptable–Pets of the Week: Malibu, Brandy, & Baby - SweetwaterNOW.com
Adorable & Adoptable–Pets of the Week: Malibu, Brandy, & Baby  SweetwaterNOW.com

Spaghetti fundraiser helps provide shelter pets with medical care - wnky.com
Spaghetti fundraiser helps provide shelter pets with medical care  wnky.com

Rescued pets from earthquake-ravaged Puerto Rico end up at East Coast shelters - Fox News
Rescued pets from earthquake-ravaged Puerto Rico end up at East Coast shelters  Fox News

Demand for volunteer blood donors growing for pets - ActionNewsJax.com
Demand for volunteer blood donors growing for pets  ActionNewsJax.com

Dissolving Dead Pets: Tucson Vet Offers Alternative To Cremation - Patch.com
Dissolving Dead Pets: Tucson Vet Offers Alternative To Cremation  Patch.com

Pets of the Week: Kaia, Lydia, Toby and Finny are ready for adoption - The Daily Breeze
Pets of the Week: Kaia, Lydia, Toby and Finny are ready for adoption  The Daily Breeze

Pet Winter Safety - WJAC Johnstown
Pet Winter Safety  WJAC Johnstown

Three pets die after west Jackson house fire - WBBJ-TV
Three pets die after west Jackson house fire  WBBJ-TV

Delta launches new airline pet travel option, feds float restrictions - WSB Atlanta
Delta launches new airline pet travel option, feds float restrictions  WSB Atlanta

Pets of the Week: Julius, Little Kitty, Red and Spock are ready for adoption - Long Beach Press Telegram
Pets of the Week: Julius, Little Kitty, Red and Spock are ready for adoption  Long Beach Press Telegram

Snuggling with your pet, a good remedy for cold and flu, according to doctors - Clarksville Now
Snuggling with your pet, a good remedy for cold and flu, according to doctors  Clarksville Now

SMVHS Pets of the Week: Irish, Phoebe - Lompoc Record
SMVHS Pets of the Week: Irish, Phoebe  Lompoc Record

New rules for emotional-support pets | News, Sports, Jobs - Altoona Mirror
New rules for emotional-support pets | News, Sports, Jobs  Altoona Mirror

Helping homeless pets through better training - WXXI News
Helping homeless pets through better training  WXXI News

Events for pets and the people who love them - Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
Events for pets and the people who love them  Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

Fond memories of family pets - fiddleheadfocus.com
Fond memories of family pets  fiddleheadfocus.com

Claremore Man Makes Wearable Tributes To Beloved Pets - News On 6
Claremore Man Makes Wearable Tributes To Beloved Pets  News On 6

Marlene Kennedy: Pet care industry paying close attention to Millenials - The Daily Gazette
Marlene Kennedy: Pet care industry paying close attention to Millenials  The Daily Gazette

NAWS Adoptable Pets Of The Week: Avi And Muffin - Mokena, IL Patch
NAWS Adoptable Pets Of The Week: Avi And Muffin  Mokena, IL Patch

Animal control officials in Springfield looking for owners of lost pets - WWLP.com
Animal control officials in Springfield looking for owners of lost pets  WWLP.com

Cat needs a new home after owner passes away | Pets of the Week - Woodland Daily Democrat
Cat needs a new home after owner passes away | Pets of the Week  Woodland Daily Democrat

Pets, Pets, Pets - Amityville Record
Pets, Pets, Pets  Amityville Record

Meet our adorable and adoptable Pets of the Week! - KTVE - myarklamiss.com
Meet our adorable and adoptable Pets of the Week!  KTVE - myarklamiss.com

Several dogs rescued in Fond du Lac house fire, two other pets died - Fox11online.com
Several dogs rescued in Fond du Lac house fire, two other pets died  Fox11online.com

Fires displace families, kill pets during past week - Taylorsville Times
Fires displace families, kill pets during past week  Taylorsville Times

Are you leaving your pet outdoors in cold weather? These laws apply to you - WHNT News 19
Are you leaving your pet outdoors in cold weather? These laws apply to you  WHNT News 19

KCBD’s Pet of the Day: Meet Havarti - KCBD
KCBD’s Pet of the Day: Meet Havarti  KCBD

Meet our pets of the week: A shepherd mix, a guinea pig and bulldog mix - STLtoday.com
Meet our pets of the week: A shepherd mix, a guinea pig and bulldog mix  STLtoday.com

Gardner family displaced, pets lost after home and daycare damaged in fire - WDAF FOX4 Kansas City
Gardner family displaced, pets lost after home and daycare damaged in fire  WDAF FOX4 Kansas City

Tri-Cities vet gets only CT scan machine for pets within hundreds of miles - KEPR 19
Tri-Cities vet gets only CT scan machine for pets within hundreds of miles  KEPR 19

5 Best Pet Insurance in Georgia Options for 2020 • Benzinga - Benzinga
5 Best Pet Insurance in Georgia Options for 2020 • Benzinga  Benzinga

WGN Radio Pet Behavior Consultant Steve Dale: Do your research when rescuing or relinquishing your pets - WGN Radio - Chicago
WGN Radio Pet Behavior Consultant Steve Dale: Do your research when rescuing or relinquishing your pets  WGN Radio - Chicago

Spotify unveils playlists for pets | TheHill - The Hill
Spotify unveils playlists for pets | TheHill  The Hill

Adopt a Pet: Akela - KTXL FOX 40 Sacramento
Adopt a Pet: Akela  KTXL FOX 40 Sacramento

Adoptable pets from Arizona Humane Society and Maricopa County Animal Care and Control (1/22/20) - ABC15 Arizona
Adoptable pets from Arizona Humane Society and Maricopa County Animal Care and Control (1/22/20)  ABC15 Arizona

Pot Makes Pets Sick, Says Veterinary Group - WTTW News
Pot Makes Pets Sick, Says Veterinary Group  WTTW News

San Jose Couple’s Dogs Allegedly Sedated by Pet Sitters - NBC Bay Area
San Jose Couple’s Dogs Allegedly Sedated by Pet Sitters  NBC Bay Area

PetMed Express Inc (PETS) Q3 2019 Earnings Call Transcript - Motley Fool
PetMed Express Inc (PETS) Q3 2019 Earnings Call Transcript  Motley Fool

Pet spa owner accused of animal cruelty, assault - WPRI.com
Pet spa owner accused of animal cruelty, assault  WPRI.com

Shelter pets could become Florida's official state pet - WCTV
Shelter pets could become Florida's official state pet  WCTV

Routt County adoptable pets: Bandit the cat and Oreo the dog - Steamboat Pilot & Today
Routt County adoptable pets: Bandit the cat and Oreo the dog  Steamboat Pilot & Today

Four pets missing after northeast Austin duplex fire - KXAN.com
Four pets missing after northeast Austin duplex fire  KXAN.com

Area pets available for adoption (PHOTOS), Jan 22, 2020 - OregonLive
Area pets available for adoption (PHOTOS), Jan 22, 2020  OregonLive

Number of pets per household will increase as city opens negotiations with spcaLA - Long Beach Post
Number of pets per household will increase as city opens negotiations with spcaLA  Long Beach Post

Animal Tales: Lewiston woman keeps pets in style - Lewiston Sun Journal
Animal Tales: Lewiston woman keeps pets in style  Lewiston Sun Journal

NJ pets in need: Jan. 20, 2020 - NJ.com
NJ pets in need: Jan. 20, 2020  NJ.com

Universal announces spring debut for Secret Life of Pets ride - Theme Park Insider
Universal announces spring debut for Secret Life of Pets ride  Theme Park Insider

Pets of the week: Norma Jean is a couch-cuddler who wants snuggle up with you - MLive.com
Pets of the week: Norma Jean is a couch-cuddler who wants snuggle up with you  MLive.com

Animal advocates remind community to keep a close eye on outdoor pets this winter - WJW FOX 8 News Cleveland
Animal advocates remind community to keep a close eye on outdoor pets this winter  WJW FOX 8 News Cleveland

Reminder: Leaving pets outside in frigid temps is a crime - wpde.com
Reminder: Leaving pets outside in frigid temps is a crime  wpde.com

Birmingham dog-sitter at centre of missing pets row given five-year pet ban - Sky News
Birmingham dog-sitter at centre of missing pets row given five-year pet ban  Sky News

Pet of the Week: Edgar - Lewiston Sun Journal
Pet of the Week: Edgar  Lewiston Sun Journal

Faces of Fauquier: Vet favors “holistic” pet care - Fauquier Now
Faces of Fauquier: Vet favors “holistic” pet care  Fauquier Now

PET CONNECTION: Meet Pemberton - KVRR
PET CONNECTION: Meet Pemberton  KVRR

Five Nice Pet-Friendly Apartments for Rent in Boston - Boston magazine
Five Nice Pet-Friendly Apartments for Rent in Boston  Boston magazine

If your pet goes missing, there's now a local group to call for help - KVUE.com
If your pet goes missing, there's now a local group to call for help  KVUE.com

Six pets die in Sioux Falls fire - KSFY
Six pets die in Sioux Falls fire  KSFY

New Clay County weed extremely toxic to humans, pets - INFORUM
New Clay County weed extremely toxic to humans, pets  INFORUM

Petland Charities to Donate More Than $10K in Pet Food to Athens Food Pantry - Yahoo Finance
Petland Charities to Donate More Than $10K in Pet Food to Athens Food Pantry  Yahoo Finance

Pet Talk: First Aid for pets - KBTX
Pet Talk: First Aid for pets  KBTX

Person, two pets escape house fire in Westminster - Baltimore Sun
Person, two pets escape house fire in Westminster  Baltimore Sun

At-Risk Puerto Rico Shelter Pets Flown to New Jersey - NBC New York
At-Risk Puerto Rico Shelter Pets Flown to New Jersey  NBC New York

Pet of the Week: 2020 pets - WTOP
Pet of the Week: 2020 pets  WTOP

The Activists Who've Saved 1000 Pets From Syria's War Zones - OZY
The Activists Who've Saved 1000 Pets From Syria's War Zones  OZY

Pet detective helps families track down lost pets as a community service - KGW.com
Pet detective helps families track down lost pets as a community service  KGW.com

New Bill Takes Aim At 'Puppy Mills,' Pet Stores, And Dog And Cat Breeding In Colorado - Colorado Public Radio
New Bill Takes Aim At 'Puppy Mills,' Pet Stores, And Dog And Cat Breeding In Colorado  Colorado Public Radio

CMPD Animal Care urges pet owners to bring furry friends inside - FOX 46 Charlotte
CMPD Animal Care urges pet owners to bring furry friends inside  FOX 46 Charlotte

Local News Fire displaces Johnson County family, kills 3 pets 41 Action News Staff 5:03 - KSHB
Local News Fire displaces Johnson County family, kills 3 pets 41 Action News Staff 5:03  KSHB

Keep your pets entertained inside this winter - WTOP
Keep your pets entertained inside this winter  WTOP

Freezing Weather — Protecting Pets, Plants, Pipes And Other Tips - NorthEscambia.com
Freezing Weather — Protecting Pets, Plants, Pipes And Other Tips  NorthEscambia.com

Cincinnati search dog who helped find more than 500 lost pets has died - WLWT Cincinnati
Cincinnati search dog who helped find more than 500 lost pets has died  WLWT Cincinnati

Bellingham man accused of killing wife, pets remains hospitalized in Seattle - Seattle Times
Bellingham man accused of killing wife, pets remains hospitalized in Seattle  Seattle Times

Ohio States veterinary social worker helps pet owners cope with grief, tough choices - The Columbus Dispatch
Ohio States veterinary social worker helps pet owners cope with grief, tough choices  The Columbus Dispatch

Woman's 15 pet bunnies cause neighborhood conflict - KKCO-TV
Woman's 15 pet bunnies cause neighborhood conflict  KKCO-TV

Blind woman asks public, pet owners to be aware of service animals - WTOL
Blind woman asks public, pet owners to be aware of service animals  WTOL

Coyote breeding season coming soon, CPW warns pet owners - KJCT8.com
Coyote breeding season coming soon, CPW warns pet owners  KJCT8.com

Great Kills fire, the morning after: FDNY still on scene, pets survived - SILive.com
Great Kills fire, the morning after: FDNY still on scene, pets survived  SILive.com

Mountain Humane Animal Shelter creates happy environment for shelter pets - KMVT
Mountain Humane Animal Shelter creates happy environment for shelter pets  KMVT

Pets Healing Vets - WDAM
Pets Healing Vets  WDAM

Philippines farm shelters pets rescued from volcano - Yahoo News
Philippines farm shelters pets rescued from volcano  Yahoo News

Police charge pet spa owner with practicing unlicensed medicine and animal cruelty - Turn to 10
Police charge pet spa owner with practicing unlicensed medicine and animal cruelty  Turn to 10

Clean Ride Auto Spa to offer car washes, coffee shop and pet spa - KELOLAND.com
Clean Ride Auto Spa to offer car washes, coffee shop and pet spa  KELOLAND.com

Coyotes on the prowl in Seven Hills neighborhood, why pet owners are terrified - KTNV Las Vegas
Coyotes on the prowl in Seven Hills neighborhood, why pet owners are terrified  KTNV Las Vegas

LA County program helps homeless keep their pets as they seek housing - KABC-TV
LA County program helps homeless keep their pets as they seek housing  KABC-TV

14 Adoptable Cincinnati Pets Looking For Families to Snuggle With - Cincinnati CityBeat
14 Adoptable Cincinnati Pets Looking For Families to Snuggle With  Cincinnati CityBeat

Strong Veterinary Market Underpins Pet Medications, reports Packaged Facts - P&T Community
Strong Veterinary Market Underpins Pet Medications, reports Packaged Facts  P&T Community

Pet Project: Puma from Paws for Life K9 Rescue - FOX 11 Los Angeles
Pet Project: Puma from Paws for Life K9 Rescue  FOX 11 Los Angeles

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