Zoey’s first dental cleaning

I know, I know.  It’s been too long!  The past couple of months have been…well…they’ve just been.  We’ve been busy with everything and nothing and now the holidays.  But, as it always goes when you have a house full of pets, there has been a lot of furry activity!

On Halloween, little miss Zoey underwent her very first dental cleaning.  I am pleased to share that it went off without a hitch (as most dental procedures do in the veterinary world) and her teeth cleaned up beautifully.  As you know, dental care is a priority for the general health and well-being of our canine and feline family members.  Dental cleanings are full anesthetic procedures just like other surgical procedures requiring sedation, intubation, and general anesthesia.  The veterinary practice I work for typically recommends annual dental cleanings and bi-annual oral exams.  Zoey is the last of my babies to experience her first dental cleaning and, at six and a half years old, her teeth were in the best condition – not even a trace of staining and no damaged teeth.

Despite working in the hospital and being privy to hundreds of dental cleanings over the years, I was still a little nervous about my special needs baby undergoing the procedure.  This was the first time she would be going under anesthesia since she was spayed more than six years ago.  But, I was able to get over the nerves because I trust our medical team and their knowledge/skill in using the dental and human-grade anesthetic equipment we have.  Plus, it’s always important (and reassuring) to have pre-anesthetic blood work run to ensure that your baby is safe to undergo the procedure.  Zoey’s blood work was great and her cleaning took all of 20-25 minutes.  Little miss woke up comfy and cozy in her own bed set atop the warmer pad in her kennel.  All in all, a successful first experience for my baby.  And I am pleased with the results…even if she was a sassy-pants before surgery and bit me.  The joys of motherhood, right?

Zoey takes in the sights and sounds of the clinic from the comfort of her own bed in one of our kennels.

Zoey takes in the sights and sounds of the clinic from the comfort of her own bed in one of our kennels.

On top of a warmer pad, Zoey is intubated and has an IV catheter providing fluids throughout the procedure.

On top of a warmer pad, Zoey is intubated and has an IV catheter providing fluids throughout the procedure.  Her vitals are monitored and documented every 5 minutes by the medical team.  (The blood pressure cuff is visible on her leg.)

Zoey's mouth and teeth are examined, charted, and scaled (using both a hand-scaler and automated ultrasonic scaler.)

Zoey’s mouth and teeth are examined, charted, and scaled (using both a hand-scaler and ultrasonic scaler.)

Zoey's teeth are polished after scaling is complete using mint polish.  Her teeth were sparkling at this point!

Zoey’s teeth are polished after scaling is complete using mint polish. Her teeth were sparkling at this point!

Post-op.  Zoey is less than 5 minutes out of from anesthesia.  She's groggy and has the e-collar on because she was sassy during pre-op and bit me.  The collar was there to keep the techs safe as she woke up and, later, her IV catheter could be removed with ease.

Post-op. Zoey is less than 5 minutes out of from anesthesia. She’s groggy, her eyes look funny from being lubricated, and she has the e-collar on because she was sassy during pre-op and bit me. The collar was there to keep the techs safe as she woke up and to make removing her IV catheter easier after she was fully awake and recovered.  I love this picture because she looks ridiculously cute…albeit drugged.

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