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Non-anesthetic dental (continued)


This is especially true of small breed dogs.The time under anesthesia can be longer for older pets due to the level of disease and the necessity for more dental work. Treatment, early and often, is the key. Repeated anesthesia over the life of the pet does not impact longevity as was once the case with older anesthetic medications. Dental disease is not curable with a one-time treatment. The disease is recurrent and progressive. Regular anesthetic dental treatments and cleanings can manage and stall dental disease. Ensuring a safe and effective anesthetic dental cleaning and


reducing the fear of pet parents, requires screening pets and pro- viding individualized care. This allows us to ensure the safety of the pet and limit the time under anesthesia. We start with pre- anesthesia testing. At a minimum, a physical exam and lab testing to assess organ function are required. Pets with possible or known heart/lung disease may also need an EKG, chest radiographs and echocardiogram. The anesthetic protocol is tailored to meet the needs of the


individual pet. This will mean choosing the pre-anesthesia med- ications, drugs to induce anesthesia and maintenance gas that meet the needs of the pet. Each pet is an individual and needs to be treated as such.


LIGHT PLANE OF ANESTHESIA The depth or level of anesthesia is kept to a minimum. The


pet should be in a shallow plane of anesthesia as opposed to a deep plane of anesthesia. Local nerve blocs, just like with humans, can allow for better pain control, but still allow the pet to be as min- imally sedated as possible. Light planes of anesthesia improve heart and lung function and blood pressure. Effective pain man- agement, nerve blocks, injectable and oral pain medication allow for a lighter plane of anesthesia, reducing the risk of complications and speeding the recovery period. These are major factors in minimizing anesthesia concerns. The concerns with anesthesia are greatly reduced with


today’s modern ability to monitor the pet. Monitoring by an experienced and attentive technician or veterinary nurse is para- mount. Monitoring machines are also very helpful. All pets will


have pulse oximetry (oxygen levels in the blood), EKG, respirato- ry monitor, temperature monitor and blood pressure assessed dur- ing their entire time of anesthesia. An IV catheter is always in place for fluid administration,


helping maintain proper blood pressure, but also to flush drugs, medications and toxins via the kidneys, which also supports prop- er kidney function. As previously mentioned, anesthesia, by nature, can lower blood pressure. It can also lower body tempera- ture. To address this, the pet must be warmed while under anes- thesia. This requires external warmers such as blankets and warmed IV fluids. When the body temperature is kept as close to normal as possible, the rest of the body functions better, and recovery is quicker. An endotracheal tube with cuff is used on every patient to maintain an open airway and prevent water and debris from entering the trachea and lungs. Recovery from anesthesia is one of the most important times


of the entire procedure and is critical to a successful outcome. The pet is to be monitored until able to sit upright and breathe without the need for the endotracheal tube and swallow appro- priately. Body temperature is monitored and the pet is warmed to maintain normalcy. While the pet is being monitored, any additional support is provided, if needed, such as additional pain medication, warming support, and nausea control.


THE BIG TAKE HOME MESSAGE First, talk to your veterinarian and veterinary team about


their protocol for pre-anesthesia evaluation, lab testing, and treat- ment. Ask them how your pet will be monitored, what steps will be taken to adequately monitor your pet, and control pain and discomfort. Ask how your pet will be supported to limit anesthetic complications and allow for safe, effective and proper dental care.


U Y


Harbourside Animal Hospital - Channelside 813.229.3322 - HarboursideVet.com Cross Creek Animal Medical Centre - North Tampa 813.994.6929 - CrossCreekVet.com


78 THE NEW BARKER


www.TheNewBarker.com


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