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    Heidi Shafford, DVM, PhD, DACVA

    Heidi Shafford, DVM, PhD, DACVA

    Dr. Shafford is a board-certified veterinary anesthesiologist who owns and operates Veterinary Anesthesia Specialists, a business dedicated to improving anesthesia safety and comfort for pets. Veterinary Anesthesia Specialists provides on-site anesthetic care and support for pets around the Pacific Northwest, and offers consulting and training to veterinary professionals across the country. All of this is to say that Dr. Shafford has a passion for making veterinary anesthesia as safe as possible and for preventing and alleviating pain in animals.

    Recent Posts

    Minimizing the Risks of Anesthesia in Cats

    Anesthesia is like any medical procedure - there are benefits and risks, and death can occur under anesthesia.  Approximately one in 1,000 healthy cats and one in 2,000 healthy dogs die under anesthesia each year.  While any anesthetic-related deaths are unacceptable, these incidence rates are actually quite low. But of course, there’s still plenty of room for improvement. One of the reasons we still see deaths related to anesthetic procedures is because not all practices are actively taking all of the steps necessary to reduce anesthetic risk.

    This article will help you understand the process of anesthesia, and empower you to ask the important questions you can, and should, ask of your pet’s medical team to help minimize your pet’s anesthetic risk.

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    Topics: teeth cleaning for cats, pet dental services, pet teeth cleaning, pet dental, cat teeth cleaning, Anesthesia, Is anesthesia safe for my cat, Pain management, Surgery

    Why it’s Important to Have Your Cat's Dental Cleanings Performed Under Anesthesia

    Just like people, pets often have problems with gum disease and plaque and tartar build-up on their teeth. In fact, by three years of age a majority of dogs and cats will have mild-to-moderate dental disease that would benefit from a comprehensive oral examination and treatment performed under general anesthesia.  Left untreated, dental disease can lead to more serious health complications, some of which may extend far beyond your pet’s teeth.  For many reasons, it truly is important to include dental care as part of your pet’s overall preventive health care program.

    The benefits of routine dental hygiene include reduced bad breath, better overall health, decreased pain, increased longevity, and reduced pet health care bills down the road.

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    Topics: Cats, teeth cleaning for cats, pet dental services, all, pet teeth cleaning, pet dental, cat teeth cleaning

    Photo Credit: Preventive Vet

    Please do not ask emergency or other specific medical questions about your pets in the blog comments. As an online informational resource, Preventive Vet is unable to and does not provide specific medical advice or counseling. A thorough physical exam, patient history, and an established veterinary-patient-client relationship is required to provide specific medical advice. If you are worried that your pet is having an emergency or if you have specific medical questions related to your pet’s current or chronic medical conditions, please contact or visit your veterinarian, an animal-specific poison control hotline, or your local emergency veterinary care center.

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