Dog Teeth Cleaning With Anesthesia: What You Should Know?

Pet Health


August 13, 2020

How often do you brush your furry companion’s pearly whites? You might want to pay attention to that. Taking care of your dog’s teeth is extremely important for their overall well-being. When your pup has poor dental hygiene, bad breath is the lesser of your problems. Plaque and tartar are serious issues that can irritate your dog’s gums.

Neglecting your canine’s dental health may have severe consequences. Jaw pain and abscesses will soon evolve into gum separation and teeth loss. At the very worse, your furry friend can develop a bad infection. When left untreated, harmful mouth bacteria can travel through the bloodstream and damage vital organs. 

We’re sure you love your loyal companion and want to spare them all these terrible health issues. Take Fido in for a thorough teeth checkup ASAP. If your pup gets easily agitated, consider dog teeth cleaning with anesthesia to make the experience less stressful.

Is Anesthesia Necessary for Dog Dental Cleaning?

The short answer is no.

However, general anesthesia can make things considerably more comfortable. Parts of the procedure can be somewhat unpleasant. The pain can put your pet in acute distress. Sometimes the vet will need to scrape beneath the gum line. Your dog will not appreciate this and may become a little aggressive. That’s why anesthesia-free brushing might be an unsafe practice for both your pup and the specialist.

You can choose dog dental cleaning with no anesthesia, but this means your pup will have to be physically restrained. Otherwise, it’s rather unlikely they would allow the vet to examine their mouth properly.

Remember, your furry pal has no idea what’s happening and why. A drug-free procedure can be counterintuitive and cause more harm than good. Besides, there are almost no dog teeth cleaning anesthesia side effects.

We know the use of anesthesia can seem scary for dog parents. Just keep in mind your vet knows best. Rest assured the doctor will always follow the right guidelines to draw your pet into an unconscious state safely. When fast asleep, your pooch won’t feel or see a thing. Before you know it, those tartar-covered teeth will look fresh and clean. 

Anesthesia is Safe for Your Pet

Trust your vet. A professional will always do a thorough pre-anesthetic evaluation, including a physical examination and rigorous blood screening. Your doctor will keep an open eye for any kidney or liver conditions. Your pup’s age will rarely be a risk factor when it comes to the use of anesthetic medications.

However, the vet will also keep it in mind to avoid common complications

Before administering anesthesia, your pup will most likely be sedated. This precaution will keep everything running smoothly. Your dog will be relaxed and compliant when the vet applies the intravenous catheter. IV fluids will ensure proper circulation and stabilize your pet’s blood pressure. Respiratory support will keep their blood oxygenated, and their airways protected.

If your dog already has periodontal disease or is suffering from gum infection, your vet will put them on antibiotics to prevent bacteria from traveling to other organs.

Dogs with a compromised immune system will also get certain medications. The doctor will keep any underlying condition under control. 

Your dog’s vital signs will be closely monitored at all times. This measure will help the doc keep an eye on your pup’s heart rate and rhythm, breathing intensity, temperature, adequate blood flow, and anesthetic depth. As soon as the dental cleaning ends, the medication effects will pass within 20 minutes. Your four-legged friend will be able to go home with you the same day.

Dog Dental Cleaning 101

So you’ve scheduled your dog’s dental appointment. Now what? If this is your pet’s first teeth checkup and cleaning, you probably don’t know what to expect. It’s essential to arrive early at the vet’s office if you need to fill up any forms. This way, your pet will also have time to settle in and remain calm. Always make sure your fluffball has an empty stomach before any procedure.  

The doctor will continue to do the appropriate screenings. The lab work will help determine the anesthetics combination and dosage. You might be asked to sign a waiver, just like you would for a human.

At this point, the doctor will explain the methods they’ll use. Don’t shy out from asking any questions. You must be fully aware of what will happen at all times. 

Once all formalities are out of the way, the dental cleaning will begin. The first thing to go will be tartar. The technician will start by removing all large chunks. Next, they’ll check your dog’s teeth for any signs of decay. The doctor will check for cavities and undetected infections. If anything abnormal shows up, your vet will let you know to further discuss the next steps. 

Keep in mind that your doctor might recommend x-rays to determine if they’ll need to take additional actions. This is especially important if they find pockets and teeth infections.

In those cases, some pieces may require extraction. Once all teeth are tartar-free, the vet will use an ultrasonic scaler to remove any remaining plaque under the gum line. This step will reduce the risk of further bacterial growth. 

To finish the procedure, the technician will polish your dog’s teeth and use a fluoride treatment. This will leave those pearly whites smooth and all ready to go. Some practitioners recommend the application of a sealant. This step is entirely optional, but it will keep your pet’s teeth clean for longer and protect the enamel.

Your vet might take some pictures to document the condition of your canine’s mouth. They will add these notes to your pet’s medical record for further reference. After that, the staff will continue to monitor your pup as the medication’s effects start giving in. Once your furry pal is ready, you’ll be notified so you can bring them home. 

Don’t Try This at Home

There are some safe methods to remove some not too stubborn plaque by yourself. However, never attempt to give your dog a professional quality cleaning at home. Doing it the wrong way will only further deteriorate your pup’s teeth condition. Besides, you don’t have the medical grade equipment required to polish each piece successfully. 

When trying to scrape the tartar from your dog’s smile, you might scratch the surface and harm the enamel. Also, there’s no way you’ll be able to remove the plaque below the gums. Remember that a white smile is not always a sign of a clean and healthy mouth. Hard to reach tartar and plaque will remain there to cause periodontal problems.

Attempting to deeply clean your pet’s mouth while they’re conscious is never a good idea. Best case scenario, they will just resist. However, you might make your dog angry and frustrated, which may lead to biting.

If you can’t manage to hold your furball still, they may make sudden moves. If you’re using a sharp instrument, you can injure their gums and cause an infection.

Keep Your Dog’s Teeth Clean

We all know, although necessary, a visit to the dentist is never fun. Keep your dog’s teeth clean between visits. Daily brushing can make a world of difference. You don’t need any sophisticated tools – you can do it by rubbing each piece with your finger and some water. You may also resort to a soft bristle brush. Just make sure you never use dentifrice meant for humans.

There are some brands of toothpaste specially formulated for pets. These creams are non-foaming and safe to be swallowed. They even come in a wide variety of flavors bound to make your furry friend love the brushing experience.

Human toothpaste has several substances that can cause a lot of damage if ingested by your dog. It’s also not recommended to use baking soda. 

Besides brushing or wiping, you can take several other actions at home to ensure your pup’s dental health. You could get some water additives and administer them through your pet’s drinking water. These products contain enzymes that kill bacteria and break down the grime. 

Other very popular products to promote dog dental care are chewing toys. While it’s true they cannot replace regular brushing, toys offer a good way of tricking your pup into cleaning their own teeth. Just avoid toys that are too sturdy. We don’t want any chipped fangs.

If everything else fails, talk to your vet about a dental diet or teeth cleaning treats.

A Healthy Pup Simile is Priceless

Depending on where you live and your doctor’s reputation, the price of dental cleaning for dogs can vary widely. As with any medical treatment, costs increase as you start adding medications, tools, and materials. Removing tartar and plaque periodically will keep things on the cheap side.

Don’t wait until your dog’s dental health is too deteriorated. Getting x-rays, tooth extractions, and extra treatments for infection and decay will increase your bill considerably. However, when inquiring about the cost of dog teeth cleaning under anesthesia, remember your goofball’s healthy simile is worth every cent.