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C2007-06

Dear Christopher Cat

Chloe, my 12-year-old cat, has bad breath. She had the same problem a few years ago, and her veterinarian cured it by cleaning her teeth.

I think he will recommend a dental procedure this time also, but I am worried that Chloe may be too old now to be anesthetized. Can the dental cleaning be done without anesthesia?

Christopher Responds

I’m sorry, but no. Anesthesia is necessary to keep us still and block the discomfort we might otherwise feel.

Scaling and polishing Chloe’s teeth will not only improve her breath but also remove bacteria that could spread through the blood and infect her kidneys, heart and liver.

Most dentals are carried out on senior pets, and untoward outcomes are rare.

To minimize risk, ask your veterinarian to evaluate Chloe’s internal organ function and immune system by testing her blood and urine prior to the procedure.

During the dental, your veterinarian will ensure Chloe’s safety by monitoring her heart, lungs and other organs, and by using the safest possible anesthetics and pain medications.

February is Pet Dental Month. Celebrate by giving Chloe a dentistry to improve her health – and her breath.

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