Apex Dog and Cat Dentistry
945 W. Jefferson Ave.
Englewood, CO 80110
(303) 810-6029
[email protected]

Proper regular dental care in the form of professional assessments and dental cleaning requires anesthesia. Without anesthesia, thorough examination, x-rays, and treatment below the gum line cannot be performed. One of the primary concerns pet owners have in relation to providing dental care is whether their pet will be safe under anesthesia. Here are some great questions to ask your veterinarian prior to having your pet anesthetized. 

What are the risks involved with anesthesia for my pet?
Risk is highly dependent on the health status of your pet, not necessarily their age. Anesthetic risk is also highly dependent on the training the veterinary staff has received.


Are IV Catheters placed?
IV catheters provide access to the vein to give fast acting medications and provide fluid support.


Are IV fluids given during the procedure?
IV fluids are important for blood pressure support.


Is an endotracheal tube placed during the procedure?
An endotracheal tube will help protect the airway during a procedure.


Do you use the same medications for all anesthesia procedures or are they adjusted based on the health status or type of procedure?
Certain drugs should not be used with certain health issues like heart disease. For example, an abdominal surgery will require a deeper level of anesthesia than a professional dental cleaning.


Is a specific individual solely dedicated to the monitoring of my pet during anesthesia and how often are measurements recorded?
Ideally, a veterinary technician with training in anesthesia should be monitoring the patient under anesthesia and recording values at least every 5 minutes to catch negative trends early. Having the same individual multi-task both the dental cleaning procedure as well the anesthesia monitoring increases he risk to the patient.


Is a veterinarian in the immediate area where my pet will be anesthetized?
The veterinarian should be available to help make adjustments in the anesthesia levels.


Do you regularly monitor temperature, heart rate and rhythm, respiration rate, blood pressure, oxygenation, and carbon dioxide levels?
All these parameters should be recorded at least every 5 minutes.


How is my pet kept warm during the procedure?
It is very common for dogs and cats to lose body heat during anesthesia. Keeping body temperature near normal improves recovery time and increases safety. 


Is a specific individual dedicated to my animal during recovery?
At least respiration, heart rate, and temperature should be monitored by the individual providing recovery services. They are also there to provide comfort to the animal during the recovery process.


What measures for pain control will be provided?
Providing pain control medications before, during, and after the procedure is key. 


Do you have protocols and regular training in place for anesthetic emergencies?
If an emergency arises, all members of the team should know and should have practiced their roles.


Board certified specialists in anesthesia are available at many hospitals for cases with higher risk. For more information on safety and anesthesia protocols, please visit our anesthesia and pain management page. 


We would love to hear from you. Please email your questions to Dentist Vet.