March 2018: Time for TEETH!!

Special 10% savings this March for your pet!

Happy Spring to all my Friends, Feline and Canine!

Each Spring, IVS Vets and staff focus on preventative care.

Spring is a great time for new beginnings and making new commitments to our health and wellness!

This last January our clients responded to our newsletter on Senior Care and as a result SO many dogs and cats came in to get a thorough Senior Care checkup!

Welcome to our new ‘members’ that have enrolled in our Senior Preventive Care program at IVS! Check out our Senior Care plan on our Website  and enroll today!

This March we continue to ‘talk about healthy teeth and gums’, and the importance of regular dental exams.

Our Vets have contributed lots of tips in our newsletter about how to assure our long life through regular oral health exams, and how to get into the ‘habit’ of preventing dental disease with some simple tips. Please enjoy the special perspective from one of our RVT’s, Cathie, on her personal journey with her dog Jessie through the dental evaluation and dental procedure process.

Still on ‘the fence’ about dentistry for your pet? This March enjoy 10% off dentistry procedures!

Don’t delay! Book your dental today!

Hugs and kisses from me-


 The Importance of Dental Exams

 By Dr. Caitlin Snyder

Annual exams are vital to our pets’ health for a number of reasons.  As veterinarians, this is our chance to detect health concerns early on, as pets often ‘hide’ signs of disease or have signs that can’t be detected at home.  For example, heart murmurs cannot be detected at home until they are causing heart failure but can be found by a trained veterinarian VERY early on when intervention is possible.

Another example is dental disease.  Often it is quite difficult for an owner to examine their pet’s mouth, and understandably so.  Even with the most compliant of pets, owners aren’t trained to detect early warnings signs that their pet is in pain or starting to develop an oral infection.  Most pets do not show signs of oral pain despite having migraine-like throbbing from an infected tooth.  During all annual exams, IVS veterinarians evaluate the oral cavity for dental disease, the need for dental extractions, conditions that cause severe pain (even without obvious external signs), oral masses that can be aggressive cancers, and periodontal disease conditions such as stomatitis in cats (ouch!) and ulcerations called “kissing lesions” in dogs.

Smaller dogs develop dental disease much more quickly that larger ones.  Therefore, any small breed dogs should be evaluated every 6 months by an IVS veterinarian; and, all other breeds during their annual exam.

Dental Friendly Treats & Toys

We know as pet owners, it can be daunting to see all the treats on the store walls. What’s safe? What is effective? What do I pick? All questions we ask regularly.

Dr. Kay has recommendations for canines.

“IVS has C.E.T Enzyme Oral Hygiene Chews available for clients. They have a special texture to help loosen tartar and slow down the progression of tartar buildup and keep your dog’s teeth looking good between dental cleanings.

We also have toothbrushes and toothpaste available for teeth brushing which should be done at least 2-3 times a week if not more. Feel free to come in for a demo to have a technician show you how to brush their teeth at home.


We also have samples of Hills Dental Care Chews for your pets to try and can be purchased online.”

Dr. Morse shares her recommendations for our feline owners.

“Dental treats can be a great tool to help keep your cat’s teeth clean and healthy! Cats don’t really like to chew on toys like dogs, so food products (such as treats or dental diets) are the best way to trick your finicky felines into keeping their mouths healthy.

Dental treats help clean teeth through mechanical action (i.e. crunching up the treats helps scrape plaque off the teeth), and sometimes through non-mechanical action (the treats have a special coating or added ingredient that helps break up plaque or prevent it from forming).

The plus side of using dental treats is that most cats love getting extra treats – and you don’t need to tell them that these treats are actually healthy! Minuses can be that some especially picky cats may not like the treats, and treats can add in extra calories (which you might have to adjust for if your cat is on a diet). Dental treats are also not a replacement for brushing your cat’s teeth or having a deep cleaning performed under anesthesia – the treats only benefit the tooth surfaces that the cat chews on, not all surfaces evenly.”

Dental treats that have earned the Veterinary Oral Health Council (VOHC) seal of approval are the way to go! These treats include: Greenies Feline Dental Treats, Purina Pro Plan Dental Crunch Cat Snacks, and Purina DentaLife Daily Oral Care Cat Treats.  It is recommended to refer to their site (  before getting started on a treat for oral health. Many over the counter products can be very misleading in their claims regarding dental health. Please remember that none of these products replace the need for routine dental cleanings under anesthesia.”

Steps in a Routine Dental

~Catherine Romano, RVT, BSAS

Earlier this year I had decided it was time for my Golden Retriever, Jessie, to have a dental cleaning. She did not have substantial tartar build up as her diet is primarily t/d by Hills, and we do our best to maintain dental health by brushing and dental treats. However, her last dental cleaning was October of 2015, so it was time. I had noticed a few teeth that were missing, assuming these were broken while chewing on things she really shouldn’t be, so my biggest fear was that there would be broken roots hidden under the gum line.

Before the day of her dental I brought her to work with me to have a prescreening blood panel performed. This was sent off to our reference laboratory, and results came back within normal limits. Great! Dental was scheduled for February 1st. The morning of the procedure I made sure that she did not have breakfast as directed by the Veterinarian.

The morning of her dental, Dr. Kay did a comprehensive physical exam, listened to her heart and lungs, and performed an ultrasound called a G-FAST to ensure that all appeared well before going under anesthesia. We set up the dental and monitoring equipment while Dr. Kay wrote up her protocol, so we would know which injections to administer throughout Jessie’s procedure.

About 20-30 minutes before we were ready to begin, Jessie received her pre-operative injections to help her relax. The next step was to get her pre-oxygenated and to place the IV catheter. I was then able to intubate Jessie with an endotracheal tube which would stay in place for the remainder of the procedure. This ensures control of the airway and where we control the flow of oxygen and anesthetic gases. IV fluids were started, and anesthetic monitoring equipment set in place.

Next, I took her “before photographs” and radiographs of her entire mouth. This is how we can determine what is happening below the gum line. Luckily, the areas where I was worried that she may have broken off teeth did not contain any retained roots and the periodontal bone appeared healthy.

Once complete I scaled all surfaces of the teeth and below the gum line. Teeth were then probed and mapped just like at your human dentist. Probing allows us to determine if there are any pockets or mobile teeth.  At this time the Veterinarian would determine if extractions or additional dental care will be needed. In this case, extractions were not needed.  I then polished all the tooth surfaces, “after pictures” were taken, LASER treatment giving to her gingival tissue, and a fluoride treatment before waking her up.  During this entire procedure Jessie was continuously monitored and vitals recorded every 5 minutes.

Once the anesthetic gas was turned off we continued Jessie on oxygen for several minutes. She was then transferred to a kennel for recovery where IV fluids were continued at a decreased rate, she was closely monitored and extubated. Close one-on-one monitoring continued until she was alert. She also received an anti-inflammatory injection after extubation to help with any discomfort since we did do a deep cleaning. Once Jessie was alert but able to rest she was continuously monitored with vitals recorded every hour until she was fully recovered.

After a couple of hours, Jessie was still a little bit groggy, but she was up and walking around and doing very well. We were able to go home!  After being back home and settling in Jessie ate a small dinner and rested well for the rest of the night. She ate breakfast as usual in the morning and was back to herself as if nothing ever happened.

Dr. Fieg talks T/D!

Dental health is an essential part of your pet’s overall health! Dental disease not only causes bad breath, gum disease, and tooth loss, but it can also lead to more severe diseases such as sinus infections and serious bone loss. Some recent studies have even linked oral disease to kidney and heart disease. At Irvine Veterinary Services, we take a multi-faceted approach to dental health care. One important part of our strategy is the special diet t/d from Hill’s Science Diet.

Although the t/d kibble costs a little more than normal dog food, it merits the price with several important advantages. It is designed to provide balanced nutrition while minimizing the further accumulation of bacteria laden tartar on the teeth. The fiber matrix embedded in the kibble, combined with the specially designed shape and size of the kibble, also helps scrape away tartar that has formed and adhered to the teeth. This kibble won’t replace regular tooth brushing at home or an annual anesthetic dental procedure performed by your veterinarian, but it will help your pet’s teeth stay cleaner and healthier between brushings.

T/D Hill’s Science Diet is available in our practices and our online store!

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