Who likes going to the dentist? Anyone? There are probably a few of you that enjoy going and I wish I could be like you! Since the “fear” of going to the dentist is felt by so many humans the dentists have decided to start making it a little more attractive to us by offering sedation. A little bit of sedation and that fear goes right out the window and you don’t have to experience all of that anxiety. Brilliant, right? All I have to say is sign me up!
So what does this have to do with the veterinary world? We see dogs and cats on a daily basis that show this “fear of the dentist” kind of anxiety, fear, and stress. You may be wondering what that looks like in a pet. A few of these signs are: flattened ears, cowering in a corner or behind your legs, constant yawning, excessive licking, urinating or defecating in the office, panting, drooling, scratching, growling or even biting. How horrible? Nobody wants their poor furbaby to feel like that and neither do we. When our pet starts off stressed it becomes a domino effect because then we as pet owners inevitably get stressed as well. We try to make your visit with us as low stress as possible by utilizing numerous techniques, treats (gotta love food motivation!), calming pheromone diffusers throughout the hospital for both cats and dogs. Sometimes this just isn’t enough and your doctor might recommend sedation.
If we suggest sedation it is for your pets’ benefit. The newer medications are very safe and we can reverse them quickly. There is no reason for your pet to experience the fear and anxiety that can accompany their visit.
Sedation can come in many forms. Some animals with milder anxiety may benefit from an oral medication that you would give at home a few hours prior to their appointment. Other animals with a more significant fear response will need an injectable sedative. The beauty of the injection is that your pet won’t remember the experience at all, which stops the cycle of repeated panic episodes that many animals have experienced for years coming to the vet. See…just like the dentist!
If sedation is something that you are considering or if you would just like some additional information, please contact us and we would be happy to chat with you!