Dog getting teeth brushed

Dental Health Month at Campus Veterinary Clinic

Oral Disease is the most frequently diagnosed health problem for pets. Although daily brushing is advised for dogs and cats, the reality is that only two percent of dog owners follow through. In addition, 65 percent of dogs with stage one periodontal disease often go untreated because veterinary health care teams do not recommend needed treatment options like dental exams, professional dental cleanings and dental x-rays. This can lead to systemic health problems which can cause serious damage to other areas of the pet’s body.

Each February, Campus Veterinary Clinic actively participates in a national campaign to help pet owners get educated and involved in their pets’ dental care. To help encourage and motivate pet owners in the Berkeley area, we will be providing free dental examinations, discounted comprehensive cleanings (25% off), dental home care instruction, memberships available to our Tooth-brushing Club, dental chews or toothbrush kits and dental diets available for purchase. We strive to provide everything your pet might need from start to finish when it comes to dental health. Have you ever wondered what really happens to your cat or dog when he or she spends a day at the dentist? Allow us to provide you with a brief description of our comprehensive oral care and assessment.

The Admission Appointment

Please, do not feed your pet the night before anesthesia to reduce the risk of vomiting during the procedure.  When you and your pet arrive for the dental appointment, a doctor or dental technician will conduct a thorough physical exam. A written estimate of the charges will be provided to you. Once you give us permission to treat your pet, your pet will be admitted.

Pre-operative Preparation

In most cases, the doctor will recommend a pre-anesthetic blood test prior to the   dental procedure.  If the test results are acceptable, we will give your pet a sedative to help them relax. An intravenous catheter is placed and the administration of fluids can be initiated.  Intravenous fluid administration during any procedure involving   anesthesia helps support blood pressure and aids the body’s metabolism and excretion of the anesthetic.

Anesthetic induction

We gently place your pet on the dental treatment table and give an intravenous injection to make your pet sleepy.  This will permit us to open the pets mouth and slide an endotracheal tube into the trachea (wind pipe) so we can give your pet inhalant (gas) anesthesia and oxygen. The placement of an endotracheal tube also helps to prevent against fluid drainage into the trachea and helps protect the airway. We use one of the safest veterinary anesthetics available. Throughout the procedure one technician will continuously monitor your pet’s respiration, blood pressure, and heart rate, while another performs the dental procedure.

The Dental Procedure

Our dental cleaning process is more extensive than having your teeth cleaned by a dental hygienist. Most pets present with more advanced disease, due to a lack of daily care, than people. A veterinarian oversees the entire procedure. Our technician measures for any periodontal disease around the gum line.  If the technician discovers any teeth needing additional care, the doctor will examine the teeth. Dental radiographs (x-rays) are recommended for all cats and most dogs. Radiographs help diagnose problems that can not be seen by visual inspection. A phone call will be made to discuss recommendations and explain any additional costs. The technician then cleans the teeth with our ultrasonic scaler and hand instruments. The final step is polishing and applying “Oravet,” which helps to prevent plaque formation for 2 weeks. In addition to the Oravet, daily home care is highly recommended. If the veterinarian anticipates that your pet may experience pain during the dental procedure, pain medication will be administered before anesthesia.

For dogs that have more severe periodontal disease or are at risk to develop severe periodontal disease, we recommend a dental vaccine called Porphyromonas.  Please call and ask for more details.

Most pets have enough gingivitis (gum infection) that it is necessary to send home antibiotics to prevent systemic bacterial infections after the dental cleaning. Tartar and gingivitis will begin to form almost immediately unless home care is instituted. We have several products that can help. Some products are very simple to use, while others require more of a commitment. A technician will prepare any medication and home-care products and will be available to answer any questions upon discharge.

Recovery and Release

At the conclusion of the procedure, the inhalant is discontinued while delivery of fresh oxygen is maintained. When your pet begins to awaken, the endotracheal tube is gently removed. Your pet then spends the remainder of the day resting or sleeping until you arrive to take him/her home.  We recommend that later in the evening, only when your pet is fully awake, should you provide small amounts of food and water. Please allow your pet a quiet evening to promote rest and recovery. By the following day, your pet should be recovered and ready to return to normal activity.

Campus Veterinary Clinic also encourages their clients to understand that while February is the month designated to pet dental health awareness, ensuring proper dental care requires a year round commitment.  Pet owners who take an active role in their pet’s dental health prevent periodontal disease and help ensure a healthy life for their canine and feline companions.  There are many different options that a client can choose from for continued home care varying from toothbrushing kits and  toothbrushing clubs to dental chews and dental diets.  If you have any questions about our dental services please call us at 510-549-1252

New safer vaccines for kitties

Purevax According to the Merck Veterinary Manual, feline leukemia is one of the most significant causes of illness and death among cats.  This deadly virus kills cats each year by causing a variety of cancers or suppressing the immune system thereby leaving the infected cats open to a number of other infectious diseases.  Fortunately, there’s something simple you can do to help protect your cat against feline leukemia virus.  A simple vaccine is the best protection.  Now a new delivery system with a safer vaccine is the best option.

About the PUREVAX Leukemia Vaccine:

Traditionally, chemicals called adjuvants have been added to Feline Leukemia vaccines to enhance an animal’s immune response.  More recently, concern over the potential risks associated with these adjuvants has led to the need for effective vaccines that do not require adjuvants.  Some of the most common adjuvant related problems treated by veterinarians are chronic injection-site inflammation, vaccine associated cancer, and allergic reactions.  Since PUREVAX Recombinant Leukemia Vaccine is created without the use of  adjuvants, feline patients are protected from serious disease without the concern of potential risks associated with adjuvanted vaccines.  Furthermore, with the new advanced delivery system, patients can receive a rapid, low-dose vaccination as early as 9wks old.

Mode of Action

The VET JET™ transdermal vaccination system uses no needle. Powered by an internal spring, the

vaccine is dispersed into an area under the dermis abundant in immune-rich dendritic cells. These dendritic cells are the most effective of the antigen-presenting cells that initiate primary immune responses.

VET JET is a safe, consistent and convenient delivery system modeled after similar devices regularly used in human medicine. All components of the system are thoroughly tested for delivery volume specifications,  pressure profile specifications, dosing accuracy and consistency. The VET JET dosing dial allows for  measurement up to 0.5 mL, in 0.05 mL increments. Fail-safe components render a defective device unusable, preventing false injections.

We at CVC now carry this vaccine exclusively to vaccinate at risk cats against leukemia virus.  Please call and ask if this vaccine is appropriate for your cat.