Pet dental care
Pet dental care is extremely important, especially as it can lead to heart conditions and even premature death if decay is left unchecked.
There are 2 options when your pet needs their teeth cleaned:
Done only by your vet
Your pet is put under anesthesia
Necessary when extractions are required
-Anesthesia- Free Dentals-
Done by veterinary professionals in any setting
Your pet is fully awake and there is no danger from anesthesia
Not a complete replacement for surgical dentals when extractions are needed
Your pet may have rotting teeth that need extractions, and a surgical dental may be required- however, anesthesia-free ones can be done as maintenance in between the need for surgical ones.
A WARNING ABOUT SURGERIES & DENTALS!
Going under anesthesia itself is risky for your pets, however there is another danger you must be aware of: the type of heat support your veterinarian uses to keep your pet warm while they are under.
On Feb 23rd, 2018, our Executive Director's beloved pup, Zelda, died of 4th degree burns sustained during a routine dental- because the a heating pad was used for heat support.
Please watch the PSA below to understand more about the problem and how you can prevent this happening to your animals:
Check out Zelda's Journey on Facebook to find out more about her tragic story and how you can participate in the Flat Zelda campaign to spread the word to other pet owners!
Heating pads are not an acceptable method to use nowadays as there are so many specially designed, safer tools to use such as:
Bair Hugger or Hot Dog, which utilize warm air (that cannot get hot enough to burn)
Circulating water table which circulates warm water under your pet and cannot get hot enough to burn
The clinic where Zelda was treated had these tools available- but for some reason on that fateful day, the vet tech decided to forgo normal protocol and use this "shortcut".
Rice bags, microwavable discs and other similar tools may be utilized by your vet as well.
In general the nature of these is that once removed from the microwave, they begin cooling down and won't provide sustained intense heat like a heating pad can- so they are considered to be somewhat safer. There should also be a buffer between them and the animal, like a towel for increased safety.
However, please be aware as these too can get hot enough to cause burns- even life-threatening ones- depending on where the burn is.
One of the dogs in the PSA died from a rice bag burn because it burned his sphincter so badly he could not defecate anymore.
The key is not overheating these items- and to test them on humans before placing them under an animal. If a human cannot stand the heat for at least 15 seconds, the item is too hot for contact with an animal at that point too.
It is critical you talk to your vet about whether they use the appropriate tools- and frankly, whether there are even heating pads around that could be misused.
The bottom line is an anesthetized animal should never be placed on a heating pad as they cannot make the choice to move should the heat become unbearable...
...if they can't choose to move, they will literally cook as though on a barbecue.