Text Box: reward afterwards too!  When he is tolerating this well, introduce a soft child’s toothbrush or plastic fingerbrush.  
	For my own pets I add one step and introduce a human “spinbrush” which are very popular 
right now.  I start by turning it on Text Box: before feeding them so they associate the noise with something pleasant.  Once they look for food when they hear it buzz, and are tolerating a regular toothbrush well, I introduce very short sessions with the spin brush being careful at first not to touch the gums.  In general in 2-5 short (2 minute) sessions most dogs will learn to accept the brush.	
	The more often you brush, the better your results!  At least 1-2 times weekly is the minimum.  Remember, your pet may still need professional cleanings occasionally as well.

Text Box: 	While professional dental care is essential for good oral health, home care can go a long way towards decreasing the frequency of professional cleanings and preventing deterioration and tooth loss.
	Most pets can learn to tolerate brushing with just a little patience.  Use a toothpaste made for pets (human toothpastes upset the tummy when swallowed).  Most of these are flavored and they look forward to the taste.  Start with just a bit on your finger and accustom your pet to having the paste rubbed over his teeth and gums.  Always give a special Text Box: 	At Edgewood Animal Clinic we understand your concern for your pet’s wellbeing.  A common question is “How safe is anesthesia for a dental procedure in an older pet?”.
	While no anesthetic procedure is without risk, done properly with today’s anesthetics the risk factor is very low.  To minimize this risk our clinic takes a number of precautions, including requiring your pet have a current physical exam to identify any underlying health issues.  We use the safest anesthetic protocol possible tailored to your pet’s own health needs.  For dental procedures this ALWAYS includes intubating your pet to protect them from aspirating fluids into the airway during the procedure.  Your pet is monitored closely throughout the procedure for any evidence of problems.		In addition we recommend Text Box: several things that you can choose to do to make the procedure as safe as possible.  Pre-operative bloodwork is highly recommended to help us identify  any underlying health issues that may affect how we approach your pet’s care.  This is especially important since many of our dental patients are older pets.  For these pets we recommend a full CBC and chemistry profile be sent to the lab (blood needs to be drawn at least 24-48 hrs prior to the dental).  For younger animals, an in house mini– profile can be done the day of the procedure as an alternative.
	Another service which we feel helps increase our margin of safety is providing and IV catheter and fluids during the procedure.  This helps to support your pet’s blood pressure and hydration;  in older pets who may have subclinical heart or kidney disease this 
Text Box: can be especially important.  It also gives us quick access to a vein should an emergency arise.  You may opt for this service at an additional charge at the time your pet is admitted.
	We also try our best to minimize your pet’s discomfort.  Dental disease hurts!  By keeping your pet comfortable with appropriate medications before, during and after the procedure we help his system better cope with the process.

Text Box: procedure is scheduled, remember to pick up food no later than 8 PM the night before the dental.  It is okay to leave water down until morning.  Make sure your pet has a chance to exercise that morning (helps us to send you home with a clean pet with no messes!).  Our office opens at 9 am and pets should be dropped off no later than 10:30 
am.  Pick up time varies Text Box: 	Please call our office to schedule your pet’s dental appointment.  For older pets we recommend obtaining a blood sample prior to the procedure date for pre-anesthetic screening.  If your pet has not had an examination within at least the last year (less if there are health issues), you may need to schedule an examination appointment first (if necessary, bloodwork can also be drawn at this appointment).	Once your pet’s Text Box: depending on procedures scheduled for the day and how quickly your pet recovers, but generally we ask you call after 3 PM for a discharge time.  We are open two evenings a week as well to allow for later pickup if necessary.
	To schedule an appointment call 331-4848 today!
Text Box: Dental care begins at home
Text Box: How safe are dental procedures?
Text Box: Scheduling your pet’s dental care

Edgewood Animal Clinic