News & Specials

Each month, Dexter Animal Clinic offers information and special pricing on veterinary services for your pet. Check back often for news from our office!

We can be your Exotic Pet Vet.  Call us today!

It’s Dental Month! — February 2017

Good news: February is dental month, which means 10% off your pets’ Dental Prophylaxis!

Dental disease is a very significant cause of oral pain in our pets, as well as being a smelly problem.  It can often go overlooked as most animals will continue to eat, play and act fairly normally despite significant dental disease – especially cats who are notorious for hiding their pain. Although we try, not many of our pets are great for having their mouth examined at home!

See our blog for information on “What is a dental?” and speak to us today for a treatment plan and estimate for your pet. 734-426-4631

What is involved in a ‘dental’?

You may have been advised at some point that your pet needs a ‘dental’.

But what does this mean? And why is it such a big deal?

Importance

Dental disease is a BIG problem. Similarly to in people, dental disease is inevitable without good oral hygiene. What starts off as a small amount of tartar, quickly progresses to gingivitis (gum inflammation) and severe periodontal disease – affecting the tooth roots and surrounding bone.

Dogs and cats show pain in very different ways to people. We regularly have pets with issues that we know are painful (e.g. tooth fractures, unstable teeth, abscesses) who still continue to eat well and appear ‘normal’. We also see plenty of dogs and cats that need very intensive dentals – multiple extractions, very long anesthetics (sometimes 2-3 hours), and end up with not many teeth at all.

Our aim is to help prevent dental disease. With good planning, home care and regular veterinary interventions, we can aim to keep our pet’s teeth healthy and comfortable – and in their mouth! – for many years.

Dental Exam

The first step is a thorough dental examination by your veterinarian. Here, we will identify the ‘grade’ of the dental disease – looking at the level of calculus (tartar) and gingivitis (gum inflammation).  Ideally, we examine and perform dental procedures every 1-2 years to keep your pet’s teeth as healthy as possible. Sometimes this is not feasible, and your pet may already have more severe dental disease.

Pet Dental Exam Mouth

Bonnie wasn’t showing any signs of oral pain, but look at this ulceration to his cheek
as a result of tartar build-up on his upper molar tooth

Preventative Dentistry

A good preventative dental involves a full anesthetic, radiographs of all the teeth, probing to identify pocketing and instability in the teeth, extractions as needed and then a scale and polish. We record all findings on a specific dental chart, and x-rays are archived to compare at future dentals.

Pet Preventative Denistry

Here is Bonnie with his endotracheal tube, being monitored with a pulse oximeter and having his temperature maintained by a heat mat. At Dexter Animal Clinic, every patient also has an intra-operative ECG, intravenous fluids and continual monitoring by a trained technician.
Having your pet in for an anesthetic can be scary – but with thorough veterinary assessment before anesthesia, and modern medications and techniques, thankfully anesthetic complications are rare.

Dental radiographs (x-rays) help us to identify disease in the tooth roots significantly earlier than we would if we didn’t take x-rays. This means less pain for your pet, a shorter anesthetic and a less invasive dental procedure. For this reason, we take x-rays of every single tooth and the price is factored into your dental estimate.

Any extractions?

X-rays, as well as probing each tooth, help us decide which teeth are diseased, painful, or likely to progress to cause a problem in the near future. X-rays also help us decide which technique to use to extract a tooth, and to identify retained roots or other issues after extraction.

We regularly perform local anesthetic blocks on the major nerves of the jaw, both to keep your pet more stable under anesthetic and to improve post-operative pain.

Extractions are often surgical, involving removing a flap of gum and an area of bone over the tooth root. This technique is much less traumatic to the bone and soft tissue around the tooth roots than a ‘closed’ extraction technique. Your pet may have absorbable sutures placed to help the gum heal quickly after an extraction. Your pet is likely to come home with pain relief, and sometimes antibiotics, if extractions were needed. The mouth can be sore for a few days, but most pets do very well from 5-7 days after extraction. We have many patients with very few teeth who still crunch dry food with no problems!

Home Care

The best plan to minimize the amount of extractions needed and maintain your pet’s oral health is to combine regular preventative dentals (under anesthetic) with good oral home care:

Regular (ideally daily!) cleaning with an enzymatic toothpaste. The enzymes in the toothpaste help to reduce tartar, even if you are not able to fully brush all the teeth. Our clients who do this well have spent lots of time building up their pets confidence – first, let your pet lick the toothpaste off your finger and then slowly build up to using a toothbrush. Even cats can get used to this, especially if you start when they are kittens.

See this video from Virbac for tips on how to brush your pet’s teeth, or come and see one of our Veterinary Technicians: https://vimeo.com/virbac/review/103146944/fc676e4054

There are many products available to keep your pet’s teeth as healthy as possible – come and see us for some suggestions. The best source of information on what to buy is the Veterinary Oral Health Council. See VOHC.org for a list of dental specialist approved treats, foods and additives that can be added in to your pet’s diet. (Make sure you watch the calories you are adding and reduce other food types to prevent obesity!)

As always, check with your veterinarian if you have any questions or concerns

about your pet’s oral health.

Recovery from Pet Denistry

Bonnie recovered well from his anesthetic and is now enjoying plenty of his
favorite poultry-flavored enzymatic toothpaste!

Pet Dental Surgery Recovery

Ask Your Veterinarian

1) Is there a holistic approach to treating/preventing “fatty tumors” (usually benign) in dogs? 

Lipomas are masses formed of adipose (fat) tissue, found very commonly in middle-aged to older dogs. They are usually benign (meaning they do not spread elsewhere in the body) and so we often only advise surgical removal if they are likely to become particularly large or affect the dog’s movement. They can be diagnosed by a simple needle-sample when you visit the practice.

The major factor in the development of lipomas is body mass – i.e. lipomas are much more common in overweight dogs. Switching to a lower-fat diet, and generally trying to keep your dog fit and lean, may help. We can help you along the way with tips, diet suggestions and regular weight monitoring.

You may have heard about other therapies, including herbal remedies and homeopathy, however there is much debate as to how effective they are – if interested you would need to consult a qualified veterinarian who specializes in alternative medicine.

Dr. Anna Calderon BVM&S MRCVS

 

Do the dental chews sold at pet stores really help?

Sometimes! The idea behind most dental treats is to encourage prolonged chewing in order to cause mechanical removal of tartar from the teeth. Unfortunately, some chews can be swallowed and get dangerously lodged in the intestines. They can also be too soft (ineffective) or too hard (so they cause damage to the enamel) or just very high in calories. The majority of us do use dental chews in our own dogs, but only in moderation. Look for veterinary-approved products if possible: (http://www.vohc.org/accepted_products.htm). Home tooth-brushing (if you can manage it!) is particularly great for reducing daily plaque build-up.

Remember, just like with our own teeth, nothing replaces the need for annual dental check-ups and prophylactic cleaning (under anesthetic). At Dexter Animal Clinic, our dental prices include full-mouth x-rays, and a full assessment including probing and scoring of any periodontal pockets, gingivitis or other disease. We use local anesthetic blocks for any extractions, as well as systemic painkillers, so your pet is kept pain-free. After the procedure, we will discuss with you any disease we have found and you will receive a full report including images of the x-rays and before- and after- photos.

 

Dr. Anna Calderon BVM&S MRCVS

Holiday Hours

 

Holiday Hours until Jan 4 Merry Christmas

Upcoming Special Offers

We have some great deals coming for December, January, and February. Please bring in your pets for routine blood work in December and receive 10% off. Bring the pets in January or February for routine dental work and receive 10% off. We look forward to see your pets and you.

Sales for December through February

December, January, February Special Offers

Ask Your Veterinarian

Staff

Our staff at Dexter Animal Clinic

As pet owners we have so many questions about our pet’s health and care, and sometimes it is hard to know where to turn for help. Although using “Dr. Google” can be tempting, it can lead you to unnecessary worry or misinformation.
If you have a concern about your pets’ health then we would always recommend that you call us for specific advice. There are plenty of people that run to the Vets every time something comes up, and we certainly understand. After all, many of us treat our pets like our children.
However, for those minor issues or questions that you have, we at Dexter Animal Clinic plan to periodically post questions and answers that hopefully will prove interesting and helpful in your day to day pet care efforts. Enjoy!
Dr. Anna Calderon BVM&S MRCVS
1) Is there a holistic approach to treating/preventing “fatty tumors”(usually benign) in dogs?
Lipomas are masses formed of adipose (fat) tissue, found very commonly in middle-aged to older dogs. They are usually benign (meaning they do not spread elsewhere in the body) and so we often only advise surgical removal if they are likely to become particularly large or affect the dog’s movement. They can be diagnosed by a simple needle-sample when you visit the practice.
The major factor in the development of lipomas is body mass – i.e. lipomas are much more common in overweight dogs. Switching to a lower-fat diet, and generally trying to keep your dog fit and lean, may help. We can help you along the way with tips, diet suggestions and regular weight monitoring.
You may have heard about other therapies, including herbal remedies and homeopathy, however there is much debate as to how effective they are – if interested you would need to consult a qualified veterinarian who specializes in alternative medicine.

Watch for our next “Ask Your Veterinarian” in November.

Heart Worm Check-up Time Again!

Time For Heart Worm Check-ups!

Time For Heart Worm Check-ups!

 

 

 Finally it’s Spring!

 And with spring comes heart worm check-up time again. Call to make an appointment for  your pet’s annual heart worm check-up and make sure you have plenty of heart worm  preventative on hand. Ask our vets for more information.

 

February Dental Month 10% off

Back To Back Harsh Winters Has Us Taking Our Pets to The Vets!

Another extreme winter and pet owners are bringing their pets (mostly dogs) in for frost bite and other cold weather issues.  With record setting lows and wind chills, it doesn’t take long to cause your pets harm. Please limit the amount of time you leave them outside.

Pets with existing conditions like diabetes, heart disease, kidney disease, or hormonal imbalances (such as Cushing’s) may have a more difficult time adjusting to cold temperatures.

Ice and snow are hard on your dog’s paws, so check them regularly. There are some over the counter treatments that help protect paws. You can also reduce the ice ball accumulation by clipping the hair between your dog’s toes.

Be careful what you throw on your icy sidewalks and driveway. Chemicals that melt the ice can be harmful to your pets. Look for pet friendly brands to help protect your pets.

Another important reason to bring your pets to the vets this winter is our February Dental Month special. Pets get a needed teeth cleaning and owners save 10%. Call today for an appointment.

If you have any questions about cold weather care for your pets, call us at 800 204-8007.Cat in Snow

Heartworm Season

Whether your pet is a couch potato

Couch Potato

Whether your pet is a couch potato or spends most of their time outside, they need to be treated monthly for heartworm.

The weather is starting to warm-up here in Michigan. If you choose to administer heartworm preventative only during mosquito season, you may want to get started for this year. We are seeing mosquitoes in our area.

We recommend using heartworm protection year round.

Heartworm disease is a serious and potentially fatal disease in dogs and cats. It is caused by a blood-borne parasite called Dirofilaria immitis. Although heartworm disease is more prevalent amongst dogs we also recommend you protect your cats as well.

If your pet should contract heartworm disease the treatment can be hard on the pet and pet owner.

It’s much easier and less expensive to give your dog or cat a preventative than to have them treated for heartworm. Call us today to schedule a blood test for your pet and to discuss which preventative would be best.

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