Your pet's annual vet check-up will include a total physical exam, with a thorough investigation from head to tail. Because even the most cooperative pet may not readily go-along with a tooth and gum brushing, an annual cleaning by your veterinarian maybe in order. Like you, your pet can lose his teeth due to decay and neglect. It's a good idea to keep an accurate medical diary not only of the procedures and vaccinations your pet receives at the vet, but also of notes on things like your pet's elimination habits and any physical changes or unusual occurrences. Keep track of small shifts in your pet's behavior, including urinary marking habits and mood swings, along with diet and routine modifications. Take a notebook when you visit your veterinarian. These seemingly unrelated occurrences may help explain results of your pet's medical tests. Also, if you need to change vets, it's good to have this journal to provide a complete medical history.
Choose a veterinarian who is calm, compassionate and willing to explain all the procedures your pet undergoes. Try to find a vet with whom both you and your pet feel comfortable. Try to have it convenient, choose a clinic with qualified staff and facilities to undertake surgery and perform procedures requiring anesthesia, such as teeth cleaning. Because of the general risks inherent to anesthesia, especially for very old, very young or very ill pets, your veterinarian will likely suggest a few exams, including a chest X-ray and lab work of blood and urine, before your pet is anesthetized. During the procedure he might need an IV drip; antibiotics may be necessary before and after.
Dr. Clark may refer you to a specialist, veterinarians who have completed advanced studies in specialties such as internal medicine, surgery, and emergency care, if your pet must undergo a procedure that requires more precise knowledge and experience.