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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 Tue. January / 19 / 2021

Eight pets dead after WF trailer home fire, family displaced - KVLY
Eight pets dead after WF trailer home fire, family displaced  KVLY

Kentucky animal shelters help rescue 270 pets from overcrowded shelter - WHAS11.com
Kentucky animal shelters help rescue 270 pets from overcrowded shelter  WHAS11.com

Composting dead pets to grow new life in Colombia - Deutsche Welle
Composting dead pets to grow new life in Colombia  Deutsche Welle

Pets of the Week for Jan. 19, 2021 - WKRN News 2
Pets of the Week for Jan. 19, 2021  WKRN News 2

Weight Issues Bring More Pets to the Doctor - Today's Veterinary Business Magazine
Weight Issues Bring More Pets to the Doctor  Today's Veterinary Business Magazine

Occupants, pets escape early-morning blaze - WHBF - OurQuadCities.com
Occupants, pets escape early-morning blaze  WHBF - OurQuadCities.com

Allied Hospice Services offers new pet care program - Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
Allied Hospice Services offers new pet care program  Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

Kind stranger starts collection for family that lost eight pets in mobile home fire - INFORUM
Kind stranger starts collection for family that lost eight pets in mobile home fire  INFORUM

Meet the woman trying to find homes for St. Louis pets surrendered during the pandemic - KSDK.com
Meet the woman trying to find homes for St. Louis pets surrendered during the pandemic  KSDK.com

Pets of the Week | Features | marshallnewsmessenger.com - Marshall News Messenger
Pets of the Week | Features | marshallnewsmessenger.com  Marshall News Messenger

Cambridge hotel celebrates the return of pets to the White House - The Boston Globe
Cambridge hotel celebrates the return of pets to the White House  The Boston Globe

Food Distributions Help People, Pets In Need On Martin Luther King Jr. Day - CBS Pittsburgh
Food Distributions Help People, Pets In Need On Martin Luther King Jr. Day  CBS Pittsburgh

Boise Pets Up For Adoption: Meet Hazel, Zeke, Sky & More - Patch.com
Boise Pets Up For Adoption: Meet Hazel, Zeke, Sky & More  Patch.com

Pet Scene: Summit County's adoptable pets for the week of Jan. 17, 2021 - Summit Daily News
Pet Scene: Summit County's adoptable pets for the week of Jan. 17, 2021  Summit Daily News

Pets on 2: Viewer Submission – Beasley - WCBD News 2
Pets on 2: Viewer Submission – Beasley  WCBD News 2

Adoptable pets at Virginia Beach SPCA - The Virginian-Pilot - Virginian-Pilot
Adoptable pets at Virginia Beach SPCA - The Virginian-Pilot  Virginian-Pilot

Cute Pets: Syrup - KSNT News
Cute Pets: Syrup  KSNT News

Microchip Hunters helped reunite 143 lost pets with owners in 2020 - RADIO.COM
Microchip Hunters helped reunite 143 lost pets with owners in 2020  RADIO.COM

Land O'Lakes help hard-hit pets with 10000 pound donation to Harbor Humane - Concentrate
Land O'Lakes help hard-hit pets with 10000 pound donation to Harbor Humane  Concentrate

Meet the Royal Family's Pets, from Queen Elizabeth's Faithful Dog to Prince Edward's Tortoise - TownandCountrymag.com
Meet the Royal Family's Pets, from Queen Elizabeth's Faithful Dog to Prince Edward's Tortoise  TownandCountrymag.com

BVSPCA Spends Martin Luther King Jr. Day Serving Pets in Drive-Thru Pantry - wrde.com
BVSPCA Spends Martin Luther King Jr. Day Serving Pets in Drive-Thru Pantry  wrde.com

Robotic pets bringing smiles to local nursing home patients - WJHG
Robotic pets bringing smiles to local nursing home patients  WJHG

Pet Owners Should Be Aware of Coyotes in the Area - TAPinto.net
Pet Owners Should Be Aware of Coyotes in the Area  TAPinto.net

PHOTOS: Gwinnett Animal Shelter Adoptable Pets of the Week — Jan. 18 - Gwinnettdailypost.com
PHOTOS: Gwinnett Animal Shelter Adoptable Pets of the Week — Jan. 18  Gwinnettdailypost.com

Pets of the Week: Callisto and Ganymede - Arizona Daily Sun
Pets of the Week: Callisto and Ganymede  Arizona Daily Sun

How to watch re-release of Betty White's long-lost series 'The Pet Set' - 10TV
How to watch re-release of Betty White's long-lost series 'The Pet Set'  10TV

N.J. pets in need: Jan. 18, 2021 - nj.com
N.J. pets in need: Jan. 18, 2021  nj.com

Amazing photos show how human vision compares with that of our pets - Daily Mail
Amazing photos show how human vision compares with that of our pets  Daily Mail

Underdog Pet Rescue warns of scam - Channel3000.com - WISC-TV3
Underdog Pet Rescue warns of scam  Channel3000.com - WISC-TV3

Pandemic brings importance of pets into focus - TribLIVE
Pandemic brings importance of pets into focus  TribLIVE

Presidential Children's Books, Pets and All - The New York Times
Presidential Children's Books, Pets and All  The New York Times

5 Anime Pets Everyone Wants to Adopt (& 5 To Avoid At All Costs) - CBR - Comic Book Resources
5 Anime Pets Everyone Wants to Adopt (& 5 To Avoid At All Costs)  CBR - Comic Book Resources

A pet duck in Maine is sporting new wheels - WIS10
A pet duck in Maine is sporting new wheels  WIS10

Boulevard Veterinary Clinic Pet of the Week: Brody - TAPinto.net
Boulevard Veterinary Clinic Pet of the Week: Brody  TAPinto.net

Pawsitively adorable: Meet 42 adoptable dogs and cats looking for love - Tulsa World
Pawsitively adorable: Meet 42 adoptable dogs and cats looking for love  Tulsa World

Animal Doctor: Time to end species-endangering fur industry - Tulsa World
Animal Doctor: Time to end species-endangering fur industry  Tulsa World

Nixa resident leads effort to allow miniature pigs as pets - KYTV
Nixa resident leads effort to allow miniature pigs as pets  KYTV

Pet of the Week: Lhasa Apso is a little rascal - WKRG News 5
Pet of the Week: Lhasa Apso is a little rascal  WKRG News 5

What Does Pet Insurance Cover? - Forbes
What Does Pet Insurance Cover?  Forbes

Pets of the Week: January 14, 2021 - WSIL TV
Pets of the Week: January 14, 2021  WSIL TV

Pet Stuff, LLC destroyed before grand opening - WVNS-TV
Pet Stuff, LLC destroyed before grand opening  WVNS-TV

Iowa teen raises $2,000 to provide life-saving devices for pets to fire departments - KCCI Des Moines
Iowa teen raises $2,000 to provide life-saving devices for pets to fire departments  KCCI Des Moines

Pet of the Week: 2021 pets - WTOP
Pet of the Week: 2021 pets  WTOP

Swoyersville leaders backtrack on ordinance allowing pet dog killing - Wilkes-Barre Citizens Voice
Swoyersville leaders backtrack on ordinance allowing pet dog killing  Wilkes-Barre Citizens Voice

Local briefs: Free pet vaccines for veterans - The Grand Junction Daily Sentinel
Local briefs: Free pet vaccines for veterans  The Grand Junction Daily Sentinel

Internationally known ‘Street Vet’ to the pets of homeless sets up shop in Modesto - Modesto Bee
Internationally known ‘Street Vet’ to the pets of homeless sets up shop in Modesto  Modesto Bee

Second Chance Pets: Piper and Mija - KOIN.com
Second Chance Pets: Piper and Mija  KOIN.com

The power of pets: Chewy and Petco have become Wall Street darlings - KTVZ
The power of pets: Chewy and Petco have become Wall Street darlings  KTVZ

Pet Vet: Obesity in Pets - WNDU
Pet Vet: Obesity in Pets  WNDU

What's Best for Our Pets - WHYY
What's Best for Our Pets  WHYY

Summersville pet shop vandalized days before opening - WSAZ
Summersville pet shop vandalized days before opening  WSAZ

Doggie Desserts: Ben & Jerry's Enters the Pet Food Business - VOA Learning English
Doggie Desserts: Ben & Jerry's Enters the Pet Food Business  VOA Learning English

A pet-loving family is on its way to the White House - The Washington Post
A pet-loving family is on its way to the White House  The Washington Post

Pet Food Company Expands Recall of Products After More than 70 Dogs Die, 80 Get Sick - PEOPLE
Pet Food Company Expands Recall of Products After More than 70 Dogs Die, 80 Get Sick  PEOPLE

Officials warn pet owners to beware of coyotes during mating season - krcgtv.com
Officials warn pet owners to beware of coyotes during mating season  krcgtv.com

Pet care retailer Petco shares surge 63% in first day of trading - CNBC
Pet care retailer Petco shares surge 63% in first day of trading  CNBC

Meet the Pet of the Week: Sassy - Channel3000.com - WISC-TV3
Meet the Pet of the Week: Sassy  Channel3000.com - WISC-TV3

Pet massage business in Tampa Bay area sees boom in stressed-out furry clients during the pandemic - ABC Action News
Pet massage business in Tampa Bay area sees boom in stressed-out furry clients during the pandemic  ABC Action News

Pet daycare, boarding business coming to Williamson County - williamsonherald.com
Pet daycare, boarding business coming to Williamson County  williamsonherald.com

Pet of the Week: Meet "Pumpkin" from ARF - FOX10 News
Pet of the Week: Meet "Pumpkin" from ARF  FOX10 News

Dog Pound Pet of the Week - Hillsboro Times Gazette
Dog Pound Pet of the Week  Hillsboro Times Gazette

Changes, Challenges: the Not-So-Secret Life of Pandemic Pets - U.S. News & World Report
Changes, Challenges: the Not-So-Secret Life of Pandemic Pets  U.S. News & World Report

'Indoguration Day' nears for Major Biden - NBC News
'Indoguration Day' nears for Major Biden  NBC News

A Shift in Daily Habits Has Boosted a Pet Care ETF - Nasdaq
A Shift in Daily Habits Has Boosted a Pet Care ETF  Nasdaq

Pet food recall expanded after more than 70 dogs die - CBS News
Pet food recall expanded after more than 70 dogs die  CBS News

So many pets have been adopted during the pandemic that shelters are running out - The Washington Post
So many pets have been adopted during the pandemic that shelters are running out  The Washington Post

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

A goose became a family's pet after being rescued as a baby - CNN
A goose became a family's pet after being rescued as a baby  CNN

A pet duck in Corinna is sporting new wheels - WABI
A pet duck in Corinna is sporting new wheels  WABI

Pet duck in Maine is learning how to waddle again using wheelchair - NewsCenterMaine.com WCSH-WLBZ
Pet duck in Maine is learning how to waddle again using wheelchair  NewsCenterMaine.com WCSH-WLBZ

This cute AI pet will fill the deep, dark void in your life - The Next Web
This cute AI pet will fill the deep, dark void in your life  The Next Web

A 'One-Stop Shop' At Pleasant Paws Pet Center - The Newtown Bee
A 'One-Stop Shop' At Pleasant Paws Pet Center  The Newtown Bee

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

Second Chance Pets: Kushina - KOIN.com
Second Chance Pets: Kushina  KOIN.com

Genshin Impact: Lost Riches Mini Seelie Pet Showcase | Game Rant - GameRant
Genshin Impact: Lost Riches Mini Seelie Pet Showcase | Game Rant  GameRant

Pet cat feared dead in 2018 California mudslide is found alive - NBC News
Pet cat feared dead in 2018 California mudslide is found alive  NBC News

Who let the dogs out at CES 2021? The MyQ Pet Portal smart doggie door did - CNET
Who let the dogs out at CES 2021? The MyQ Pet Portal smart doggie door did  CNET

Furever Friends: Pets available for adoption - WJAC Johnstown
Furever Friends: Pets available for adoption  WJAC Johnstown

Cutest Pet of the Week: ‘Blackie’ the Bunny - YourErie
Cutest Pet of the Week: ‘Blackie’ the Bunny  YourErie

Adoptable pet: Meet Banjo - Tallahassee Democrat
Adoptable pet: Meet Banjo  Tallahassee Democrat

Pets shouldn't wear COVID-19 face masks, but sales are still spiking - Business Insider - Business Insider
Pets shouldn't wear COVID-19 face masks, but sales are still spiking - Business Insider  Business Insider

Recall Roundup: Pet food recall expanded after reports of dog deaths - Carlisle Sentinel
Recall Roundup: Pet food recall expanded after reports of dog deaths  Carlisle Sentinel

Pet of the Week: Whiskey, Finger Lakes SPCA - WETM - MyTwinTiers.com
Pet of the Week: Whiskey, Finger Lakes SPCA  WETM - MyTwinTiers.com

Pet Masks company sees 500% surge in demand amid coronavirus pandemic - Fox Business
Pet Masks company sees 500% surge in demand amid coronavirus pandemic  Fox Business

This pet-friendly sofa's two-tiered design means everyone has a place to rest! - Yanko Design
This pet-friendly sofa's two-tiered design means everyone has a place to rest!  Yanko Design

'Relentless' pit bull attack at Omaha dog park injures pet - Omaha World-Herald
'Relentless' pit bull attack at Omaha dog park injures pet  Omaha World-Herald

How America is changing the global pet industry - Quartz
How America is changing the global pet industry  Quartz

North Syracuse business catered to pet lovers working to overcome pandemic challenges - CNYcentral.com
North Syracuse business catered to pet lovers working to overcome pandemic challenges  CNYcentral.com

Goose Named Lil’ Bob Became Ohio Family’s Pet After Being Rescued As A Baby - CBS Pittsburgh
Goose Named Lil’ Bob Became Ohio Family’s Pet After Being Rescued As A Baby  CBS Pittsburgh

Pet of the Week: Ewok - Arizona Daily Sun
Pet of the Week: Ewok  Arizona Daily Sun

Pet adoptions up amid pandemic - Famuan
Pet adoptions up amid pandemic  Famuan

Midwestern Pet Foods Voluntarily Recalls Pet Food Recall for Aflatoxin Health Risk - FDA.gov
Midwestern Pet Foods Voluntarily Recalls Pet Food Recall for Aflatoxin Health Risk  FDA.gov

Adopt-A-Pet Dog of the Week: Maverick - ThurstonTalk
Adopt-A-Pet Dog of the Week: Maverick  ThurstonTalk

All The Presidents' Pets - WAMU 88.5
All The Presidents' Pets  WAMU 88.5

Pet Parents Call This Self-Warming Mat 'Heaven' for Their Furry Friends - PEOPLE
Pet Parents Call This Self-Warming Mat 'Heaven' for Their Furry Friends  PEOPLE

Global Pet Mattress Market To Reach A New Threshold of Growth By 2026 - KSU | The Sentinel Newspaper
Global Pet Mattress Market To Reach A New Threshold of Growth By 2026  KSU | The Sentinel Newspaper

Global Pet Care E-Commerce Market In Depth Insight, Industry Opportunities and Investment Overview Growth & Research Finding TO 2027||Dover Saddlery, Inc.; PetSmart Inc.; Petco Animal Supplies, Inc.; Chewy, Inc - KSU | The Sentinel Newspaper
Global Pet Care E-Commerce Market In Depth Insight, Industry Opportunities and Investment Overview Growth & Research Finding TO 2027||Dover Saddlery, Inc.; PetSmart Inc.; Petco Animal Supplies, Inc.; Chewy, Inc  KSU | The Sentinel Newspaper

Pet food recall expanded - KOMO News
Pet food recall expanded  KOMO News

Couple builds wheelchair for their new pet duck - Abccolumbia.com
Couple builds wheelchair for their new pet duck  Abccolumbia.com

My Pet Pal: Winnie - News from southeastern Connecticut - theday.com
My Pet Pal: Winnie - News from southeastern Connecticut  theday.com

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