Why Dental Disease is more Dangerous to Your Pet’s Health than Anaesthesia
As vets we get really concerned when people deny their pets necessary dental care. Especially when it’s obvious by the state of their teeth and gums that it’s causing them a great deal of pain.
But pain or no pain, the preferred option is to do anything but subject their pet to the perceived dangers of anaesthesia. Yes we agree that no anaestheisa is risk free regardless of whether you’re a human or an animal.
However – today’s modern anaesthesia is extremely safe.
We now have a variety of proven and safe drugs to choose from which allow us to tailor an anaesthetic protocol to your pet’s individual health status.
So regardless of whether your pet is old, very young or has an existing health problem, there are steps we can take to make anaesthesia as safe as possible.
Compare this with …
Normal healthy gums provide a tight seal around the teeth to prevent any food or debris from getting stuck between the teeth and gums. As plaque and bacteria build up Calcium salts accumulate which then develop into the ugly brown and gritty “Tartar”. If left untreated infection will set in causing a conditon called Gingivitis. This is where the gums become red and inflamed and painful.
At this stage – the condition is reversible however if left untreated further swelling of the gums allows dangerous bacteria to enter the normally unexposed base of the teeth ultimately causing tooth loss. This is called Periodontitis and it is not reversible.
Bad Teeth Can Cause Organ Damage
Having made an entry into the delicate structures of the base of the teeth, dangerous bacteria can now enter the bloodstream and circulate to vital organs such as the heart, liver, lungs and kidney where they can cause irreversible and even fatal damage.
This includes – kidney disease – infections of the heart and other organs.
Weigh this tragedy up against relatively safe anaesthesia and the choice should become very clear.
Risk of anaesthesia < Risk of serious disease
So please – don’t let the fear of anaesthesia stop you from booking in for a dental procedure. However if you still have concerns, ask your vet to explain their anaesthesia protocols to you and how they minimise the risk for your pet.
Steps we take to ensure Safe Anaesthesia for Your Pet
- Pre- Anaesthetic Blood Tests – to ensure that the organs responsible for metabolising the anaesthetic drugs are healthy enough to do so.
- Provision of Fluid Therapy throughout the procedure to maintain blood pressure and hydration as well as assist in helping the kidneys to flush out the toxic by – products of the anaesthesia drugs as quickly as possible
- Use Gold standard techniques for the provision of anaesthesia in Veterinary Practice
The Gold Standard for anaesthesia is gaseous anaesthesia (isofluorane) with a trained assistant and special equipment monitoring your pet for the duration of the procedure. Pain relief is also provided as part of Best Practice medicine so your pet won’t feel a thing.
How Often should my pet’s teeth be checked?
Your pet’s teeth should be checked at each veterinary visit. At a minimum – this should be once a year during their annual check up.
Avoiding Dental Disease
Your pet needs to have regular professional dentals throughout their lifetime. Find out more about our Preventative Dentistry for Dogs and Cats.