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How To Protect Your Dog While Under Anesthesia

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Recently, a dog died due to injuries sustained from a heating pad during a routine teeth cleaning. The media is full of these tragic heating pad stories from the United States as well as other countries in the world. As a pet owner, you may be worried, but luckily, you just need to take the right steps to protect your pet. Before your dog gets his teeth cleaned, review these life-saving tips.

1. Only Take Your Dog to a Trained Veterinarian

Generally, when dogs get their teeth cleaned, they need to be put under general anesthesia. To protect your dog, you should only take him to a licensed veterinarian, and you should also ensure that the vet is experienced with putting animals under with a veterinary anesthesia system.

You should never let a dog groomer or any other untrained professionals put your pet under anesthesia.

2. Schedule Teeth Cleanings Only as Needed

Going under anesthesia is serious for a dog. Temperatures tend to drop while under anesthesia, and that opens them to the risk of hypothermia. To avoid that risk, professionals use a variety of heating methods to keep dogs warm during veterinary procedures, but unfortunately, there can be risks of burns from using the wrong heating approach.

Additionally, there are implicit risks with anesthesia on its own, for both humans and adults. If your dog needs a lifesaving surgery, the risks associated with anesthesia make sense. However, if it is not medically imperative to get your dog's teeth cleaned, the risk may not be worth it. Only consider a teeth cleaning for your dog if your vet strongly recommends it.

Some canine breeds are more prone to dental issues than others, and other dogs have crowding that makes cavities more likely as well. In these cases, your vet may recommend a cleaning. Additionally, if your dog has a history of cavities, your vet may also recommend a cleaning.

With most dogs, however, cleanings are not that critical, and the risks aren't worth it. A few dental bones may be a better idea. These crunchy snacks help clean debris off your dog's teeth.

3. Ask Who Will Be Monitoring Your Dog

If you decide that your pup needs his teeth cleaned, ask the vet detailed questions about the process, and in particular, ask if someone will be assigned to monitor your dog's vitals. Ideally, there should be a point person to keep an eye on the vitals during the procedure so the team can stop if your dog shows any signs of discomfort or distress.

4. Talk About Heating Pad Practices

The risk with conventional heating pads is that if the heat starts to feel excessive, the dogs can't move away. That creates a situation where dogs may suffer burns, and in some of those cases, the burns can be severe enough to lead to death. Warmed bags of rice are also dangerous for the same reason

Luckily, there is a new generation of heating systems designed specifically for veterinary surgeries or procedures such as teeth cleaning that involve anesthesia. Make sure your vet uses one of these modern systems, and if you want to do further research, you may want to ask which system your vet uses and do a little independent research.

Even if teeth cleaning is necessary, it's never an emergency procedure. That benefits you as a savvy consumer and devoted dog owner. Essentially, it gives you the time you need to talk to multiple veterinarians and do the necessary research to ensure your dog is safe. To learn more, contact a vet today, and click here for more info on veterinary anesthesia systems.