Roxy’s Dental Part-1: Anesthetic monitoring of your pet while in surgery
As is the case for us, our four-legged friends may require anesthesia as part of a surgery or procedure. While there are always risks when any anesthetic agent is administered to a patient, regardless of the length of time the patient is anesthetized, the good news is there are many things you can do to reduce your dog’s risk!
Your veterinarian may recommend a pre-surgical examination and diagnostic tests that help identify any underlying conditions that should be addressed before your dog undergoes anesthesia.
Recommended diagnostic tests usually include:
- Chemistry tests to evaluate kidney, liver, and pancreatic function, as well as sugar levels
- A complete blood count (CBC) to rule out blood-related conditions
- Electrolyte tests to ensure your dog isn’t dehydrated or suffering from an electrolyte imbalance
Additional tests may be added on an individual basis. Your veterinarian will recommend the right thing for your best friend.
For the surgery:
- The placement of an intravenous (IV) catheter as part of the anesthetic preparation. The catheter can be used to provide anesthetics and intravenous fluids to keep your pet hydrated; additionally, if needed, it would serve as a pathway to directly administer life-saving medications, should a crisis arise.
- Intravenous fluids to help maintain hydration and blood pressure. IV fluids also help your pet with her recovery process by aiding the liver and kidneys in clearing the body of anesthetic agents more quickly.
- The surgical assistant/veterinary technician: A technician or assistant is present during the anesthetic event to monitor your dog’s vital signs and to help adjust anesthetic levels, under the direction of the veterinarian.
- A heart rate monitor counts your pet’s heartbeats per minute. Anesthesia and other factors, such as surgery itself, can affect heart rate. By monitoring your dog’s heart rate, your veterinarian can make anesthetic adjustments quickly.
- An electrocardiogram (ECG) monitors your dog’s heart rate and heartbeat pattern. It can detect abnormal heartbeats called arrhythmias. If an arrhythmia is detected, your veterinarian can make suitable changes in anesthesia.
- Core body temperature may be monitored, especially if your dog is undergoing a prolonged surgical procedure. Changes in body temperature can cause dangerous complications.
- A blood pressure monitor measures your dog’s blood pressure. When used in conjunction with other monitoring equipment, it provides detailed information on your pet’s cardiovascular condition.
- Pulse oximetry may be used to monitor the amount of oxygen in your dog’s blood and her pulse rate.
- Carbon dioxide( C02) is often monitored together with oxygen, as it helps determine if your pet is receiving the right amount of oxygen during anesthesia.
As you can see we take great care to minimize your best friends risk while under anesthesia.
Roxy’s Dental Part-2: Dental X-rays
It is virtually impossible to practice veterinary dentistry without dental radiographs!
Dental radiology is one of the most vital tools in veterinary dentistry. Dental x-rays are essential in performing dental procedures, in evaluating procedural success and in the documentation of dental and oral health. Please say “No Thank You” to any dental procedure including teeth cleaning without dental x-rays.
Why would you want dental radiographs when cleaning teeth?
We provide a comprehensive oral health assessment and treatment (COHAT) for pets when the teeth are cleaned. Dental x-rays with periodontal probing help with the assessment. It makes no sense to place an animal under anesthesia to clean their teeth and miss an important problem. If you don’t look (take x-rays), you most likely will not find problems that need attention.
Two-thirds of our dog’s and cat’s teeth are under the gingiva (gums) and are not viewable. Dental radiographs help in that assessment. They allow the veterinarian to assess the teeth (fractures or internal disease), the surrounding soft tissues (periodontal disease, stomatitis, CUPS, cysts, draining tracks, facial swellings, fistulas or tumours), the joints (TMJ or mandibular symphysis) and the bone (jaw fractures). Dental x-rays can reveal subgingival (under the gums) foreign objects, cysts and tumours.
Studies have shown that without dental x-rays, significant pathology is missed in up to 75% of pets.
Written by: College Manor Veterinary Hospital