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Old 01-06-2013, 05:30 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Teeth Cleaning

Hello there! In the near future I plan to make a vet appointment for my oldest cat, Cami. She's 8, about 14 pounds. At her last visit, the vet recommended a teeth cleaning. Cami's teeth really don't look very good. Lots of tartar build up and her gums are red along the edge.

My concern is about having her put under. I am extremely nervous about this as I have heard horror stories about animals not making it during these teeth cleanings.

Can anyone calm my nerves? I'm not looking for "you should have done this for her" or "you should be feeding her this instead"...I'm just looking for support right now. If you are unable to give it, then please just ignore this post. I'm so nervous that I need some words of encouragement that she'll be fine.

Thank you
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Old 01-06-2013, 05:59 PM   #2 (permalink)
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I've never been through a cleaning so I'm sure other will reassure you about the process, but remember that 8 isn't very old! A healthy 8yr old cat is likely to bounce back from anesthesia with minimal effort.

Has your kitty ever had bloodwork done? I believe that's recommended before anesthesia even for a routine cleaning.

Just remember that in the long run you're making your cat more comfortable ensuring they can eat normally and avoid nasty oral diseases for MANY years to come.


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Old 01-06-2013, 06:04 PM   #3 (permalink)
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You could get them to do a full blood work up. This would give more info about her health. Anesthesia of any kind is risky and sometimes the risk isn't worth the benefit. With the added info, the vet could give you an idea of how risky it is. You should probably insist on sevoflurane or isoflurane gas anesthesia. It's less risky than injectable.

I'm always incredibly nervous when my pets or foster pets have surgery. I'm a nervous wreck all day. My vet knows it too. I have her call me immediately after and I call several times throughout the day to check on them. It's normal to be nervous or even scared. We care about them and there's nothing that will make us any less nervous/scared.
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Old 01-06-2013, 06:30 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Let the vet know you are nervous about it. When I worked at a clinic we always did full blood work before putting any animal under- just to make sure all of their organs were properly functioning and that their body was strong enough to handle the stresses.
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Old 01-06-2013, 06:57 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Make sure the vet hospital that is doing the dental is AAHA accredited.
Make sure their dental equipment is new. If the practice is AAHA
accredited then they adhere to stringent guidelines while doing surgery.

Here is a little info from one of my favorite Vets website on surgery.


(I also love this vet because he will not declaw or dock tails and ears! And says it on his website.)

What are the risks associated with surgery and anesthesia? What can be done to minimize these risks?
The risks associated with routine surgery such as spaying or neutering are very minimal and consist primarily of infections at the surgical site, usually caused by excessive licking and chewing at the incision. This is usually controlled readily by the use of antibiotics and collars. The risks associated with anesthesia have primarily to do with lowering of blood pressure and possible adverse effects, especially on the kidney. For this reason an intravenous (IV) catheter and IV fluids to support kidney function is required for older animals and strongly advised for younger animals. Also, anesthetics, fluids and emergency drugs can be administered through the IV line. IV fluids help maintain blood pressure in the anesthetized patient and will replace lost fluids. Upon completion of the procedure, IV fluid therapy speeds the recovery process. Additionally, studies have shown that the small chance of kidney dysfunction after anesthesia is virtually eliminated by the use of IV fluids.

Occasionally animals will be harboring disease that could cause complications during a surgery and that cannot be detected with a physical exam alone. Blood tests will increase the chance of detecting a hidden problem that could prove to be life threatening. For this reason pre-anesthetic bloodwork is required for older animals and strongly advised for younger animals, and you should ensure that the petís complete medical history is available to your veterinarian, especially if your pet has been seen at another veterinary clinic.
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Old 01-06-2013, 07:26 PM   #6 (permalink)
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As above, I would recommend an overall physical and pre-anesthetic blood screening prior to the procedure to minimize the risks.

My Muffs needs to be sedated about once a year or so just for grooming. Muffs is a VERY nervous/timid cat and she HATES to be handled. She lets me brush her body (after years of patience, treats and tricks), but she still refuses to let me brush her tummy. As a result, every so often she gets mats on her underside that need to be dealt with. Believe it or not, she needs to be sedated for that purpose. Little monkey!

I initially worried about the procedure...but to put things in perspective, as my vet once said to me, the risks of anything happening to my cats under anesthesia are less than the risk of my being in a fatal car accident. I'm presuming you don't worry about getting in your car on a daily basis (most of us don't), so try not to worry about Cami.

If it helps, you can also discuss the types of anesthesia that will be used, the precautions taken, etc., with your vet. Most (decent) vets are very understanding of the worry that accompanies anesthesia and will (should) take the time to ease your mind.
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Old 01-07-2013, 11:46 AM   #7 (permalink)
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Thank you, everyone!
I made the appointment this morning. She will be going in at 8:00 Thursday morning and I can pick her up later in the afternoon. I will have them run blood tests beforehand. They also told me that she can't have any food or water after 10:00 the night before.
How often is it recommended for a cat to have their teeth cleaned? Or does it vary from one cat to the next? I just don't know if I can handle this stress too often! lol
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Old 01-07-2013, 11:57 AM   #8 (permalink)
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Your cats teeth are healthy according to what you feed him and genetics. It wouldn't hurt if you continue to "brush" your cats teeth after this dental. Prayers for Cami.

Your are an excellent cat parent for getting her a dental. Teeth play a big role in an animals health. Dental care for people and animals are often over looked but play a huge part of our general health. But I'm prejudiced on this matter. My sons a dentist!
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Old 01-07-2013, 12:05 PM   #9 (permalink)
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I just thought of another question. Do I have to be careful with her eating & drinking once I bring her home or will she be good to go?
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Old 01-07-2013, 12:26 PM   #10 (permalink)
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The vet should let you know. Generally with the animals I saw go through teeth cleanings, they were fine to eat like normal, unless they had any teeth pulled or oral surgery done, in which case they were on a soft food diet until it healed.
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