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How are appointments scheduled in your office?
- Appointments are scheduled one of two ways:
- If only a consultation is desired for an opinion or assessment of the pet, this is typically scheduled on a Wednesday afternoon.
- If a procedure is requested appointments are typically made in the mornings, the procedures are done late morning to early afternoon, and the pets are sent home the same day by 4:30 pm.
What should I bring for my appointment?
- It is most helpful to bring all recent lab tests, medical histories and relevant x-rays for review. This will help with treatment planning and help to reduce duplication of expenses.
What if my pet has a procedure scheduled?
- In addition to bringing all recent lab tests, medical histories and relevant x-rays, make sure your pet has food withheld beginning midnight the night before the procedure. MAKE SURE water is available at all times. Do not withhold water.
What if my pet is taking medication?
- Ask the staff for guidance. Some medications are continued, some are discontinued for the day.
What about anesthesia? Is it safe?
- This is the most common question asked. We feel that less is better. We pre-op pets with butorphenol. This a pain medication that rarely depresses the pet. If the pet is young and rambunctious, we may add acepromazine to help minimize anxiety. The older the pet the less we use. We use Sevoflurane gas anesthesia and mask induce the pet. We do not use “fish tanks” for cats. If the pet is simply too “wild,” we may use propofol to take off the edge, then mask induce the rest of the way prior to intubation. All pets have IV fluids administered using an IV fluid pump. All pets are monitored for blood pressure, mean arterial pressure, oxygen levels, carbon dioxide levels, EKG and body temperature. Body temperature is maintained with a heating device and insulated pad.
While there are risks involved, the risks are minimal. It is rare for a pet to die under anesthesia. The biggest complication is exacerbation of underlying undiagnosed disease. This is why pre-operative lab work is so important. We do not like surprises.
What about pain management?
- There isn’t any reason for the pet to be in pain. There are many medication options available to manage any discomfort the pet may experience. Typically pets receive a morphine derivative immediately following any procedure involving manipulation of gums or teeth. Home mediations will range from opiates to non-steroidals depending on the procedure. There are now long twenty four hour injections for cats, plus patches that last three days if needed.
Will my pet have to spend the night?
- No, the overwhelming majority of pets go home the same day. This is one of the advantages of Sevoflurane. If the pet must be hospitalized due to extensive surgery or other extenuating circumstances, the pets are transferred to a local emergency clinic for observation. One of our staff transfers the pet that evening and returns the pet to the office the next morning.
My pet is scheduled to have a root canal done on a fractured tooth. Will you place a crown on the tooth?
- Generally crowns are not required for fractured teeth following root canal therapy. Pets use their teeth differently than people and crowns tend to place the remaining tooth structure at greater risk for fracture. If a crown is placed on a fractured tooth, great care must be used to minimize aggressive chewing on the part of the pet.
What if my pet is having problems at home following a procedure?
- Both doctors are on call after hours. The doctor's cell phone number is written on the bottom of the discharge instructions. We do our best to be available for consultation at night. If a true emergency is occurring, advice will be given as to what is required and the best facility to provide this care.
How often will my pet need to come back to your office?
- For periodontal disease annual visits is common. The more home care that is provided by the owner, the greater the time interval between visits. For root canal therapy, a six to twelve month follow-up visit is typical. For other problems, return visits will be dictated by the diagnosis and treatment.
How much will all of this cost?
- No two pets are the same with exactly the same problem. Treatment estimates are given at the time of examination. We do our best to keep our fees as reasonable as possible. We do not bill. We accept MasterCard, American Express, Care Credit, checks, and of course cash.
What about my pet's medical records?
- Copies of all medical and dental records are sent home with the owners . Duplicate records are sent to the pet's regular veterinarian.