Anesthesia is a major concern to pet owners. The best possible outcome can be obtained by selecting the proper patient, anesthetic, and monitoring protocol.

 General anesthesia is necessary for oral assessment because:

 Sixty percent of dental disease occurs below the gum line. In order to do a proper cleaning the pet should be immobilized for the procedure.

 Often there is calculus and bacteria-laden plaque on the teeth to be cleaned. An endotracheal tube placed in the trachea keeps debris out of the lungs.

 Some dental procedures are painful. Anesthesia will ensure the patient will not feel pain.

During anesthesia one trained person should be dedicated to monitoring and recording vital parameters, including body temperature, heart rate and rhythm, respiration, oxygen saturation via pulse oximetry, blood pressure, and end-tidal carbon dioxide levels. Intravenous fluid therapy is essential for circulatory maintenance. Customize the type and rate of fluids administered according to the patient's needs. Prevention of hypothermia is essential because the patient may become wet and dental procedures can be lengthy. Provide safe immobilization of the head.

If oral surgery is planned, institution of intraoral local anesthesia is warranted in conjunction with general anesthesia to decrease the amount of general anesthetic needed and to reduce the amount of systemic pain medication required postoperatively. Local anesthetic blocks can last up to 8 hrs.13-15

Physical Examination


Blood Tests

Anesthetized patient with Abaxis Vet Scan and HM II in background

Click on the chart to see a larger view

Click to view larger image
Preanesthetic blood results in an asymptomatic four-year-old dog presented for evaluation and teeth cleaning. Further testing showed that the dog had end-stage renal failure due to glomerulonephritis.



Preanesthetic screening (Bas Vetronics)

Click on the chart to see a larger view
Click to view larger image

Urinalysis - Early Renal Disease (ERD) Testing


Positive ERD test


Urine Creatinine Ratio in Cases Where Proteinuria is Present



Table of Contents
The Smile Book V
The Oral Assessment, Treatment and Prevention Visit
Jan Bellows, D.V.M. Diplomate, American Veterinary Dental College
Getting Ready
Choosing The Proper Patient
Anesthesia Protocol
Monitoring the Patient
Oral Assessment, Treatment and Prevention

Check out the entire
Smile Book Series


Copyright 1997- All Pets Dental Clinic
No portion of this site may be copied without authorization.
If you have any questions about the site, or are referencing it in an article or other website, please notify the webmaster.

Jan Bellows, DVM
All Pets Dental Clinic
17100 Arvida Parkway
Weston, FL 33326
(954) 349-5800