The staff at Ashland Veterinary Hospital knows how important your pet is to you. Your pets are valued members of your family and you want to keep them happy and healthy. We are always looking for ways to make it easier for you to take care of the ones you love. That’s why every year in February we offer special sweetheart deals, and this year is no exception as we offer special on dental cleaning, class IV laser therapy, and microchipping.
Dental disease is one of the most common problems that dog and cats contend with in their lives. Buildup of plaque and calculus on the teeth can lead to inflammation and erosion of the gums, loss of teeth, infection, and odor. The presence of infection and inflammation in the gums allows bacteria to enter the bloodstream and can lead to bacterial infections in the bladder, kidneys, liver and other organs. Once calculus has built up, the popular dental chew treats cannot remove it; it must be scaled off, just like what happens when humans go to the dentist. The only difference is that cats and dogs just look at you like you’re crazy when you tell them to “open wide” – veterinarians must use some anesthesia in order to clean teeth properly. Unfortunately this worries some clients so much that they put off getting the pet’s teeth cleaned, putting them at risk for more serious problems. The good news is that for routine dental cleaning, we can use a very light level of anesthesia, making it a very safe procedure. Our standard dental cleaning includes a physical exam, premedication including pain medication, anesthesia, ultrasonic dental scaling, polishing, a fluoride treatment, and a final medicated rinse. Extractions of loose or problem teeth can also be done during the procedure if indicated. Once the cleaning has been done, we will recommend a home-care program to keep the patient’s oral cavity clean and healthy.
Pain and inflammation are significant factors in many conditions that affect dogs and cats, particularly as they get older. Arthritis from hip dysplasia, ligament problems in the knees, and back or neck pain from intervertebral disc disease are common in dogs, and it is estimated that arthritis is one of the most underdiagnosed problems affecting older cats. Owners may notice limping or weakness associated with these painful conditions, but often the signs can be subtle – like slowing down on walks or an inability to jump up on things that were easy in the past. Traditionally veterinarians have depended on medications such as non-steroidal anti-inflammatories (like rimadyl) or opioids to treat these conditions. These drugs come with potential side effects, and in some cases may not provide adequate relief. Fortunately, twenty-first century technology offers a new therapeutic tool for inflammation and pain – class IV laser therapy. Many people have heard of “cold laser” therapy. A cold laser is a class III laser with a maximum power rating of ½ watt and can only penetrate a few millimeters into tissue. Our class IV laser has a power rating of 15 watts and can penetrate several centimeters into tissue, allowing it to reach deep into muscles and joints. The class IV laser increases blood flow to the injured tissue, decreases the production of inflammatory mediators, reduces the firing rate of pain neurons, increases the production of collagen (the scaffolding that supports the healing process in damaged tissue) and increases energy production in cells. Acute injuries may respond to one or two laser treatments whereas chronic conditions may require multiple treatments initially, followed by regularly scheduled “tune-ups.” We have seen a lot of patients improve and require less medication to control chronic conditions, and in some cases even eliminate the need for medication.
Finally, one of the worse things that can happen to a pet owner is to lose their pet. When a furry family member goes missing, most owners would do anything to get them back. The simple act of having a universal microchip implanted under the skin is the most important thing an owner can do to increase the odds of recovering a pet that has gone missing. The procedure is quick and does not require any anesthesia. Our special Valentine’s price on microchips includes the lifetime registration fee.