Dogs and Dental Cleaning
I am the owner of an eleven-year-old golden retriever. Recently, at his annual exam, my veterinarian recommended that he have a full dental cleaning due to tartar build-up and progressing gum disease. I am very concerned about him having to be put under anesthesia because of his age. What is your opinion?
You have asked a very good question. While most animals have to be put under anesthesia for a proper dental cleaning to be performed, this should not be a reason to decline treatment. I would, however, recommend a pre-anesthetic work-up. This may include blood work, radiographs, and/or antibiotics. This will allow your veterinarian to choose the best anesthetic protocol for your dog. Newer technologies available today, including safer anesthetic gases and state-of-the-art dental equipment, make dental procedures much safer. Therefore, while under anesthesia, he will receive a much more expedient and efficient dental cleaning and polishing. It is very important to provide geriatric dental care for your dog. Studies have shown that eighty percent of medical problems seen in the heart, lungs, liver, and kidneys may have resulted from the presence of dental disease. This safe procedure, along with regular dental check-ups and at-home dental care, will only increase the quality of life for your pet.