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A 9 yo MN mixed breed dog, weighing 72 pounds (32.7 kg), presented for a recent onset of panting, shortness of breath, weakness, and syncopal episodes. On physical examination, the dog’s heart rate was 160 bpm, his mucous membranes were pale, and his pulses were weak and thready.
An ECG confirmed the tachycardia, along with some additional findings. Instead of normal P waves followed by QRS complexes, the veterinarian observed an absence of P waves and complexes that were wide and bizarre.
Although performing dental cleanings in the veterinary hospital is valuable, getting clients on board with home care is every bit as essential. After all, imagine how your teeth would look if you completely skipped brushing and just went to the dental hygienist for yearly cleanings!
The good news is that there are plenty of home care options available, so you can find a product to meet the needs of almost any client. The bad news is that this wide variety of dental products can be overwhelming, making it difficult to choose what is “best” for any given pet.
As a vet student or new grad, you will probably encounter clients who want to save money and avoid anesthesia by pursuing anesthesia-free dentistry for their pets.
After all, what’s not to love about it? Their pet doesn’t go home groggy, there’s no anesthesia risk, and the cost is a lot lower than a comprehensive dental cleaning. From a client’s perspective, anesthesia-free dentistry looks pretty appealing!
Anesthesia-free dentistry providers capitalize on this appeal, using a variety of marketing strategies to sell clients on a service that is of limited benefit. While we all know that anesthesia-free dentistry is inferior to comprehensive veterinary dentistry, it’s important to be able to clearly explain your view to your clients, without becoming defensive.
You can’t just tell clients that your dentals are better than anesthesia-free dentistry; you need to be able to educate them on why that’s the case.
Doing so requires attention to facts and details.
As a general practice veterinarian, you will probably dedicate a significant amount of your time and energy to veterinary dentistry. While many patients only need a routine cleaning or a simple extraction, you will also encounter challenging cases that would benefit from more specialized care.
When a challenging dentistry case comes along, it’s important to know what referral options are available to you and when a patient should be referred to a veterinary dentist.
Topics: Veteirnary Dentistry