Kids & Pets
June 24, 2017
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Pretty deadly Sick Pet RP offering two new summer camps Pet food pantry moves to the Redwood Gospel Mission One-month countdown Hahn Elementary Lifeskill Awards for May, 3rd-5th grades Hahn Elementary Lifeskill Awards for May, K-2nd grades Penngrove School LifeSkill awards May 24 Maria, played by Airlia Lepe “Teacher of the Month” Megan Lesser Evergreen - First, Second and Third Grade Lifeskill Awards Evergreen - Fourth & Fifth Grade Lifeskill Awards Gold mining days at Hahn John Reed - Citizens of the week May 23 Wilsons honored as volunteers Penngrove School - Lifeskill Awards May 21 Monte Vista Spring Fling University Elementary-Lifeskill Awards May 8 War heroes with four legs Tips for summer travel with your pet Penngrove Elementary Lifeskill award winners for March 8 Qin wins 21st Century Student Award College choices at Waldo John Reed Citizens of the week winners for May 16 Happy Birthday Monte Vista Elementary Student Builders for March 7 University Elementary LifeSkill Award for the week of May 15 Penngrove School LifeSkill award winners for May 10 Middle School Career Fair slated March 16 Penngrove Elementary Lifeskill Award winners for March 1 Waldo Intermediate Lifeskill Leaders for the week of May 8 Local students show off their talent Lawrence Jones Middle School Waldo Intermediate Lifeskill Leaders for the week of May 15 Local students to compete in Future Chefs on March 15 Monte Vista Elementary Student Builders for Feb. 28 Waldo Rohnert Intermediate Lifeskill Leaders for the week of March 27 Honor a Graduate in the June 2nd edition! Honors for Zeidler Lawrence Jones Middle School 34th Annual R. P. Fishing Derby, May 20 It’s imperative you keep tabs on your pet’s weight John Reed Elementary Citizens of the Week for March 7 Monte Vista Elementary Student Builders for March 28 Local Artist donates her painting STEAM and Literacy standouts Dogs need at least 15 hours of sleep per day Stats-help give direction Random act of kindness Are you ready when an emergency arises? 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Dental exams for pets

By: Mickey Zeldes
May 19, 2017
All About Pets

We’re looking into getting a dental x-ray machine.  Seems pretty high-tech for a shelter, right?  That’s what I thought but our vet tech has been putting on a campaign for the past year about the need.  She finally has me convinced (almost)! And the Animal Shelter League has offered to cover the cost.  I’ll share with you the reasons.

If you’ve had a dental exam done on your pet recently, I bet you are still reeling from the cost.  They can run $400-600 for just a basic cleaning!  More and more veterinarians are pushing the need for good oral hygiene with our pets; and not just to make money.  It really does make sense once you realize that the mouth is the gateway to the entire innards of an animal.  If the mouth is full of bacteria and disease then that is what is entering the digestive tract and lungs and that affects the heart, kidneys and every other organ! 

There was a time when even an 8-year-old cat would not stand much of a chance of being adopted at a shelter but with an increased life expectation and raised consciousness of saving animals, we are adopting out older and older animals.  In fact, just this year so far we have adopted out cats that were 15-years-old, 16-years-old and a 17-year-old!  But people are not looking for a huge vet bill right away when they take on a new animal, and many older pets need some dental work.  By having the equipment in-house we can do it right at the shelter and send animals home in tip-top shape.  Putting an animal under anesthesia also requires that we do a blood panel so we can also assure the adopter that the kidneys and liver are functioning normally (or close enough for an elderly pet).

You might have heard ads for the new “anesthesia-free” dentals that some groomers are offering.  Be aware of this and know that while it might be an OK supplement to help keep teeth clean between actual dentals, it in no way actually replaces the need to have a full dental done.  In the worst case, the tooth surface could be damaged if the pet is resistant or struggles, but even in the best cases it is just a surface cleaning and does not get anything trapped below the gum line.  The groomer is also not trained to notice signs of gum disease, broken teeth (hairline cracks) and other potentially serious dental issues.  It’s also impossible to do a complete mouth examination on a fully awake animal.  To really get inside and see what’s going on you do need to anesthetize the pet.  A dental x-ray is helpful in determining what is going on below the gum line; which is not visible to the eye.

We recently had a dog in with a pretty messed up mouth.  We don’t know if Sugar damaged her teeth chewing on rocks or if she was hit in the face but several teeth were broken and her mouth was obviously painful.  We did a dental and our tech spent a long time trying to get all the teeth fragments out but couldn’t get it all.  She did a second dental and tried to get more but the dog’s mouth was still sensitive so we sent her out for an x-ray and found that there were still several fragments left under the gums and a couple other broken teeth as well.  This was clearly beyond our capability in-house and we were referred to the dental specialist at VCA Animal Care Center, Dr. Chris Carter.  Fortunately for us, VCA, which is the corporation that owns many vet clinics in our area, is very generous to shelters (a thousand thank you’s VCA!) and Dr. Carter offered to waive most of his fee.  Typically the dental that Sugar required would cost $4,000-$5,000 but they discounted their price so that we could save the dog and ASL stepped up to cover the cost (clearly this was beyond our budget!).  This is just an example of the kind of expense you can run into for dental care.

This case really pointed out the need to be able to ascertain sooner the extent of the issues before we waste time trying to do a semi-repair.  So it looks like we’ll be owning better dental equipment and an x-ray machine soon!

Upcoming Events:

Registration for our popular Kidz ‘n Critters summer camp program for students in 2nd-7th grades is now open.  $125 per camper/$25 sibling discount for a one-week fun camp experience.  Each session is M-F, 8:30-1p.m. and includes a camp T-shirt.