Geriatric Dog Dental Surgery

The aim of our veterinary dentist is a mouth free of pain and infection.

An infected mouth leads to pain and not being healthy, with bacteria getting into the blood stream and affecting the liver, kidneys and heart.

Quoting Veterinary Dental Specialist Dr Holmstrom “Quality of life is also important issue for geriatric patients. Allowing periodontal disease, fractured teeth, and neoplasia to remain untreated decreases this quality of life. Age itself should be recognized; however, it should not be a deterrent to successful veterinary dental care.”

Today Benny a 16 year old Dachshund cross Corgi was presented with an infected oral cavity.

We discussed the pros and cons, and agree that “age is not a disease”!

The older pet will have a very different approach – a different anaesthetic protocol. And a different emphasis on saving vs extracting an infected tooth .

We try and limit the anaesthetic time to 1 hour. And monitor blood pressure, Oxygenation, pulse, core temperature and have a dedicated dental anaesthetic nurse.

Benny was a pleasure to pass an intravenous catheter and treat.

Geriatric dental 1

Above:  Some of the older really abnormal teeth – that did not need extractions.

After 1 hour we had removed most of the plaque and tartar build up, cleaned under the gum line – sub gingival curettage, and root planning and filled in the gum pockets with periodontal sealants.

Geriatric 2

Above: Polishing Benny’s teeth after the cleaning, scaling and root planning, and curettage.

Geriatric 3

Above:  Vet dentist – Applying a periodontal sealant to the tooth Gum margin.

Below:  Benny, a 16 year old, happily walked out with his owner 2 hours after the procedure.

Geriatric 4

Older pets needing a vet dental have

  • less heart function
  • less lung function

So older dog dentals get intravenous fluids and safe shorter acting anesthetics..  All the dental cases get a tube put into the wind pipe to stop breathing in of fluids and spray from the ultrasonic scaling and possibly drilling. Heat in provided with head pads and being covered by a blanket while under general anesthetic for the veterinary dental procedure.

Pre anesthetic bloods are recommended done 24 hours before is ideal.

We do not use the benzodiazepines – Acp in older pet – as it drops the blood pressure.

By taking extra precautions we have a very safe doggy dental procedures , of kitty dental procedures.

The usual outcome is a “new” pet 72 hours later – usually brighter with a new lease on life.

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