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Comprehensive Oral Health Assessment and Treatment 

Providing the things you need to know about your pets oral health!

Pet Dental Health Month

February is National Pet Dental Month but here at Creature Comforts we are hosting our event in January and February!

Dental care, oral health, is not recognized by many pet parents as a necessity, but it is a vital part of caring for our pets.  “80% of dogs and 70% of cats by age 3 have some degree of Periodontal Disease.” 


Periodontal disease is defined as a progressive, cyclical inflammatory disease of the supporting structures of the teeth and is the main cause of dental disease and early tooth loss in dogs and cats.  This can be treated and prevented!  No other procedure preformed on small animals does more to help a patient then periodic teeth cleaning and after care.  As plaque and tarter form on teeth and under the gumline, bacteria collect and multiply.  This can cause foul breath, discolouration of teeth, gingival (gum) recession, loose teeth, pain, infection etc. and is a cause for concern.  Dental disease can lead to more serious problems then just in the mouth, for example, it can be the cause of heart disease, decrease lung function and can even kidney disease!


We, here at Creature Comforts, can help you maintain good oral hygiene for your pet by providing an Oral Health Program. The start of the program will begin with an Initial Assessment for your pet, then continue with information of a Treatment Plan going forward. 

Initial Assessment 

A veterinary professional will examine your pets’ teeth and be able to provide you with a grading scale as to where your pets periodontal disease is situated. 


We grade your pet on visual assessment, when not under general anesthesia.  This assessment can allow the veterinary professional to palpate the gums and visualize any bleeding (gingivitis), along with the level of plaque and tarter build up.  We then provide you with an estimate on what we believe the treatment plan will be.

Pre-Operative Vital Assessment

The veterinarian will assess your pets most important vitals.  These include heartrate, pulse, respiratory rate, temperature along with mucous membrane colour.  With being able

to auscultate and palpate these parameters the doctor can assess for any abnormalities.

Pre anesthetic Bloodwork 
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Blood work is recommended to maximize patient safety. The Pre-Anesthetic Blood Panel can help alert our veterinarian to the presence of dehydration, anemia, infection, diabetes, kidney, or liver disease that could complicate the procedure.   These conditions may not be detected without bloodwork being preformed thus not allowing for the most appropriate and safest anesthetic protocol.  Plus, these tests could help if your pet’s health changes in the future to develop a faster, more accurate diagnoses and treatment plan.

Creature Comforts is equipped with on site, state of the art Idexx Blood Analyzer Technology at our fingertips.  This technology allows us to preform these tests at the time of your admission.  Running a pre anesthetic panel requires a small amount of blood to be obtained and only takes approximately 15 minutes to have results.  The tests included are Complete Blood Count (CBC)- PCV (Anemia), White Blood Cell Count (Infection) & Red Blood Cell Count (Anemia / Bleeding Disorder), Platelet Count (Clotting Disorder) Chemistries - BUN and Creatinine (Kidney), ALKP and ALT (Liver), Glucose (Sugar), Total Protein (Dehydration), and Electrolytes (Imbalance). Also included in our panels is a test called SDMA, this is a precursor test for kidney disease. 


These tests are like those your own doctor would run if you were to undergo anesthesia.

General anesthesia, IV Catheter and Surgical Fluid Therapy

General anesthesia includes a combination of pre-medications, induction agents and inhalant gas, which are used to achieve the optimum level of anesthesia that is safe for your pet. An intravenous catheter will be placed in your pet leg.  This will allow us to have quick venous available access to the circulatory system in case of an unforeseen emergency and to administer anesthesia medications, and fluid therapy continuously through out the procedure.  Once your pet is anesthetized they will be intubated which is the placement of a tube into the trachea or windpipe. This will ensure that your pet is able to always receive oxygen and prevents aspiration of any fluids into the lungs.

Anesthesia is then maintained with a gas anesthetic which allows the veterinary professionals to have more control over anesthetic depth and less irritation to the airways.

Surgical Monitoring

Creature Comforts is equipped with registered veterinary technologists and computerized monitoring devises for safe and up to date surgical monitoring.  The vet tech is an animal nurse who is trained in many different aspects of the veterinary field including manually monitoring heartrate, pulse, respiration etc through out surgical procedures and has the knowledge to intervene when necessary.  Our computerized monitoring devices are secondary systems used to assist the technologist and records heartrate, pulse rate, blood pressure, oxygen levels, respiration rate, temperature levels and has an ECG (electrocardiogram).  These allow us to trend the values recorded and adjust the anesthetic agents when necessary. 

Dental Prophylaxis

The veterinary professionals are trained to perform the dental prophylaxis or cleaning, which includes an oral exam, ultrasonic scaling (removal of plaque and tartar), polishing (refining the rough edges of the tooth), dental radiographs, and the application of an oral rinse. 


During the oral examination it allows us to examine each tooth and the structures that surround it.  We can look for abnormalities in the oral cavity like bite; the skin of the cheeks, the throat, the tongue, etc, the tooth; mobility, fractures or broken teeth, discoloured teeth, etc.  This can give us a good idea if any teeth need to be extracted or if other procedures are recommended. 


Radiographs are preformed by the technologist to allow the doctor the ability to evaluate the structures under the gumline.  Sight alone is not enough, and dental radiographs allows us to see what is hidden under the gum line such as abscesses, root decay, missing teeth, and other lesions, and masses just to name a few. This will allow the veterinarian the knowledge to preform any extractions that are necessary. 


Performing a dental cleaning allows you to start fresh to help prevent future periodontal disease. We have a brand new Dental Cleaning unit.  This unit is comprised of an ultrasonic scaler, prophy polisher, a high/low speed drill, and water and air device. The ultrasonic scaler allows the vet tech to remove the tarter on the tooth surface you can see (crown) and under the gumline.  This will help prevent the bacteria from the tarter to cause underlying issues if left there.  Once the tarter is removed a low speed polisher is used to remove the any microscopic groves that could have been created by the tarter, scaler or hard toys that were chewed on previously.  We then apply a chlorhexidine rinse (antibacterial) aide to the full mouth including the teeth. 


Once the teeth are cleaned and radiographs have been taken and reviewed by the veterinarian, if there are any extractions that are needed would take place now.  If not, then the procedure is completed, and the patient can begin the recovery process.  

Pain Management

We provide intraoperative (during the procedure) pain supports, along with post operative (after the procedure) injectable medications and oral medications to go home with.  If your pet is required to have extractions, we use a medication intraoperatively, to locally block (anesthetize) the arcade of the mouth that has the affected tooth.  In human dentistry they use a similar medication when we need an extraction, or a filling placed.  This medication can last anywhere from 6 to 12 hours in length.  This provides the vet tech to use the least amount of inhalant anesthesia that is necessary.  After the extractions we use an injectable medication that lasts for 24 hours so that once the local anesthesia has worn off the injectable meds are still on board.  The next morning you will start an oral pain and anti-inflammatory medication and continue for few days to help you pet be as comfortable and as pain free as possible. 

Dental Report Card

At Creature Comforts we put together a plan going forward for you and your pet’s dental health.  In this plan it allows us to provide you with the most recent knowledge on products and actions we can do to help slow down the build up of plaque and tarter in the future.  It also provides you with before and after pictures of your pet’s teeth along with some of the radiographs that were taken for your reference. 

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