Anesthesia Free Dental Work

We were about five minutes into the wrestling match and still hadn’t made much progress in identifying the source of the evil smell coming from Carmella’s mouth. Normally she was a friendly and outgoing Boston Terrier, but she just didn’t understand why this stranger was trying to pull her lips back along the sides of her teeth. I think she suspected I was trying to smother her, so she was whipping her head back and forth and up and down trying to buck me off like a bronco. I briefly wondered if my own dentist ever reflected on how lucky he was to work with patients who comprehend the process and play along, making his dental examination and treatment a relative cakewalk.

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Anesthetic Risks

The new kitten exam for Mrs. Smith’s grey tabby had gone very well. She appeared to be completely normal and healthy and we had just finished discussing what schedule would be appropriate for her remaining vaccinations. Now it was time to talk about spaying her cat. Suddenly Mrs. Smith got very quiet. “I’m not sure I want to spay her.” she told me. I asked her if she was intending to breed the cat and she said no. “I am just worried about the anesthesia and I don’t want to take the risk.”

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Antifreeze Poisoning

Antifreeze poisoning is a fairly common toxicity seen in veterinary medicine. It is often the agent used by the truly evil people who intentionally poison other people’s pets, but it is also a common household product that pets may accidentally come in contact with. The problematic chemical in antifreeze is ethylene glycol. It has been said that it tastes good to pets so they will drink it voluntarily, but in at least one study cats who were deprived of water refused to drink antifreeze voluntarily even when they were extremely thirsty. Of course all bets are off when guessing what a dog would voluntarily ingest. I have treated dogs who have eaten bags of ice melt and fertilizer, so lapping up antifreeze isn’t much of a stretch for the species.

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Bad Lumps

In the last column we talked about some of the reasons that those scary looking lumps on our pets may end up being nothing serious, so figuring out what they are can allow you to get some sleep at night instead of worrying that something bad is going on.  This column looks at the other side of the coin, the lumps and bumps that can spell trouble and some of the options for dealing with them.

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Behavior Medication

Not too long ago I got an exasperated phone call from a client. Her six month old German Shorthair Pointer puppy was driving her crazy. She worked long hours during the day and the puppy had to stay in a crate to keep him from destroying the house while she was gone. When she got home from work she was tired and just wanted to relax, but as soon as she let the puppy out it would be zooming around crashing in to everything and causing a general ruckus.

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