Many pet owners are not aware that taking a dog or cat to the veterinarian once a year is the same as a person seeing their doctor or dentist once every seven years! Here at KC Animal Hospital we recommend that all pets have a wellness exam every six months so our doctors have the opportunity to detect, treat, or prevent problems before they become life-threatening.
Your pet's semi-yearly exam will start with one of our trained technicians; they will come in and ask you a series of questions about your pet's lifestyle and about any behaviors that they may be exhibiting. The exam will continue with the doctor who will give them a thorough examination, from the tip of the nose to the tip of the tail. The doctor will also discuss with you some of the questions that the technician asked you. Based on the findings of the exam and your discussion with the doctor, we will then be able to come up with a vaccination schedule to best suit your pet's needs. We will also be able to use this time to provide you with information about the best way to provide a healthy life for your pet. If you have any questions about your pet or anything that concerns you, this is the time to find out the answers so please do not hesitate to bring up your questions. Our goal is to provide your pet the best possible medical care.
Proper dental care has been proven to be important in the prevention of dental disease, and the overall health of your pets. Dental prophylaxis is the procedure that cleans the tooth above and below the gum line, helping to prevent the spread of bacteria into the bloodstream. This bacteria can damager the kidney, liver and heart over time, decreasing the overall health of your pet and shortening their life expectancy.
The process of dental prophylaxis begins with "scaling" the teeth to remove the plaque and calculus from tooth surfaces. This process effectively cleans the tooth surfaces to stop or control the progression of gingivitis and periodontal disease. Polishing completes the cleaning process by removing plaque debris and tooth discoloration caused by plaque deposits. The type of paste that is used in polishing smoothes the surface of the tooth to discourage the re-accumulation of plaque. Finally, their entire oral cavity is thoroughly rinsed and fluoride gel is applied.
During the cleaning process, the technicians thoroughly chart any abnormalities in your pet's oral exam; this includes gingival pocketing and inflammation, tooth fractures, and oral masses. The technicians then relay this information to the doctor, who performs their own exam and makes recommendations for further treatments.
Although we try to avoid tooth extractions, we will sometimes recommend "pulling teeth" for the health and comfort of your pet. When the doctors determine the need for extraction with a digital dental radiograph, they will do so to avert tooth pain and the possiblity of abscess (infection). With human grade dental instruments, the doctors can perform your pet's extractions effectively, and facilitate a rapid recovery. After their procedure, the technicians will go over all their at-home care in detail and answer any questions you may have about their recovery.
Prior to anesthesia, all pets receive the same exemplary standard of care. The doctor will conduct a comprehensive physical examination to ensure they appear to be fit for surgery. The technician staff will obtain your pet's vital signs, obtain blood samples if applicable, and place an IV catheter. We include an IV catheter in their pre-anesthetic protocol to provide the medical staff with venous access to deliver supportive IV fluids throughout the procedure, and in the case of an emergency, life-saving medication administration. We take all necessary precautions, however, the need for a catheter is paramount.
We recommend that all pets undergoing any anesthetic procedure have pre-anesthetic blood testing prior to their surgery. This simple test is done in-house and provides the doctor with helpful information about your pet's liver, kidneys and other internal organs. It reveals their ability to metabolize the anesthetics we use to anesthetize them. While we recommend that all pets have pre-anesthetic testing, we do not require it for pets under the age of six. Pets ages six and up are required to have the Premium Anesthesia Package, that includes pre-anesthetic blood testing, an EKG to monitor the hearts electrical activity and IV fluids during the procedure to help hydrate and maintain a consistent blood pressure during anesthesia.
Your family members comfort is important to us and we believe that controlling post operative pain is of the highest importance; therefore your pet will receive an injection of pain medication along with a medication that will help maintain their heart rate prior to their procedure. We will also send home the appropriate pain medication for your pet to take at home several days after the procedure. Helping to control pain not only makes your pet more comfortable, but also allows them to recover more quickly.
Depending on the procedure that your pet is scheduled for, the doctor may recommend that your pet go home with you the same day with instructions for close supervision, they may recommend that they stay with us overnight, or if the procedure is very involved they may recommend that your pet be transferred to an emergency facility where they can be monitored by a doctor overnight.
There are times when more through and complex testing is required. For these cases we access specialists at a local laboratory specializing in animal diagnostics. Most results are reported within 24 to 48 hours.
Because pets cannot not articulate what ails them, diagnostic imaging is a vital part of veterinary medicine. We have a full-service radiology facility to obtain x-rays of your pet in our office. When more detail is necessary, we enlist a mobile internal medicine specialist to perform your pet's ultrasound, endoscopy, rhinoscopy, and more.