Cat Shave badly matted fur

Dusty came in because the fur on its hind quarters is badly matted.

Dusty with owner
Dusty the black cat came in for a shave, as the hind quarters have very badly matted fur.

Giving an injection
Dr Levine gives Dusty an injection prior to the procedure.

Anaesthetic in place.
Intravenous Anaesthetic in place for the shaving procedure.
Dusty with badly matted fur.
Dusty with badly matted fur.


Are you concerned about the anaesthetics we will use on your pet?

We give this information sheet to all pet owners
before their pet is given general anaesthesia.

To make the procedure safer we recommend
intravenous fluids and a pre-anesthetic blood profile.

At Cranbrook Veterinary Hospital we take special care to ensure stress-free, comfortable and safe anaesthesia for your pet. To achieve these goals, we provide the following for all animals undergoing general anaesthesia.

Pre-anesthetic exam:

Every animal receives a complete physical exam before anaesthesia. Our veterinarian gives special attention to the heart condition and respiratory systems. Having a full picture of your pet’s health ensures the safest possible anaesthesia and reduces complications.

Blood Profile – option

In addition to the physical exam, we recommend that we test a complete a blood profile. Our veterinarians prefer that we do bloodwork testing a few days before giving anaesthesia and intravenous fluids given during the procedure. Testing your pet’s blood before anaesthesia may indicate abnormalities that are not evident during a physical exam.

Intravenous-Fluids- option

We also recommend to our clients the IV-Fluids option of having our technicians administer IV-Fluids (given intravenously), making it a safer for the pet under anaesthesia. IV-Fluids help maintains blood pressure and blood flow to the kidneys. Also, fluids retain hydration during surgery. It also allows for an intravenous access to administer medications, or analgesic (pain drugs).


We realize that being in the hospital can be a stressful time for your pet. We give sedation to all pets undergoing anaesthesia. Sedation relaxes the patient and lowers the amount of general anaesthetic required making the overall procedure safer.

Patient monitoring during anesthesia:

We use very safe anaesthetics. During surgery, there is a veterinary technician in the operating room monitoring the patient and helping the doctor as the need arises. As well, we use respiratory, heart and blood pressure monitoring equipment which tells us how our patients are doing while under anaesthetic and gives us early warning of potential problems.

Hospitalization on Recovery:

Anaesthesia lowers body temperature. Following surgery, our staff place pets in clean cages with warmed blankets, hot water heating systems (with extra heat supplied). Your pet is monitored before, during and after surgery by our hospital staff and doctors.

Analgesic Injections (pain-relief injections):

All pets undergoing anaesthesia in our hospital are given analgesic injections. Animals who receive pain relief recover much faster than those who do not. Management of your pet’s pain also reduces stress and improves healing. In recent years, medical research indicates the importance of pain management for our pets.

Client Lounges:

To help reduce stress for both you and your pet, we offer two comfortable client lounges where you can visit with your pet while in the hospital.

Follow Lizzy during her spay

Lizzy is a young cat who came in for a spay.

    • 9 am Lizzy came into the hospital.
Lizzy cat pre-surgery
Our technicians prepare Lizzy for her surgery.
    • 9-am  Exam and preparations begin.
    • 9:45-am Sedation started. She gets very drowsy, and the staff return her back to to the kennel. The kennel is kept warm by heated blankets and warm cushions.

      drowsy kitten
      Drowsy kitten returned to her kennel while sedation deepens.
    • 10:15-am Lizzy receives further sedation. Technicians gently install a soft tube down the cats’ throat for intubation of gas anaesthetic to make sure she is fully unconscious during the surgery. The anaesthetics are very safe. The technicians also give pain medication.


    • 10:20-am Lizzy is under a general anaesthetic.
    • 10:30-am Surgery begins, with the veterinarian making an incision in her abdomen to remove only her two ovaries,  (called an ovariectomy).The procedure has less internal disruption. (Ovariectomy is different from a hysterectomy where the surgery will remove the entire uterus.) Surgery begins in our Veterinary hospital operating room.


    • 10:35 Surgery is underway.

      during the spay
      During the spay, our Veterinarian removed the ovaries.


    • 11.00-am The veterinarian inspects the surgery site and installs sutures to close the abdomen. The staff return Lizzy to her kennel. She rests on warmed blankets.
    • 11:30-am Lizzy is awake still drowsy, but comfortable.
      Lizzy is still drowsy but comfortable
      Lizzy is still drowsy but comfortable.


    • 11:00-am Lizzy is still sleepy, and she begins to eat vigorously.
    • 12:00-pm Lizzy is standing up, fully awake and is ready to go home.


Dental Full Information

Drew helps with anaesthetic monitoring on a dog.

Pet Dental

Every pet dental includes:

Complete oral exam, dental x-ray, scaling and polishing all the teeth and a complete cleaning above and below the gumline.


Why do dentistry on a dog or cat?

  • Poor dental health is often the cause of an older pet’s lethargy and lack of appetite. As well, bad-breath can be corrected by proper dental hygiene.
  • By cleaning or removing abscessed teeth eliminates the pain.
  • Following extraction, the teeth are scraped of plaque and then polished the teeth. Without a sore mouth, your pet may enjoy renewed vigour and better breath.
  • By using the safest anaesthetics, your pet will recover much faster, and you will be able to take your pet home just a few hours after an anaesthetic.

This is a dental X-Ray taken in our practice showing black areas below the gumline indicating advanced gum disease. Every pet dentistry should have a dental X-Ray.

Because dental disease leads to:

Pain, Infection and Bad-Breath
  • Pain. Owners do not generally recongnize pain in their pets. Pets do not show pain as we would expect. Dental disease can cause great discomfort, and when the source of pain is removed, we see their increased energy and improved well-being.
  • Pets are more stoic about pain than people, but they certainly do feel dental and oral pain. They feel pain of tooth fractures, pulp exposure, periodontal disease, tooth root abscess, but they often show it by less physical activity and lack of appetite.
  • Pets use their teeth and jaws much like people use their hands. If their mouth is sore they will resist playing with their toys or they will reduce chewing on hard food.
  • Infection. Bacteria from the oral disease can also cause infection in other organs, such as heart, liver, kidneys, joints and lungs, thus reducing the pet’s vitality and its quality of life.
  • Bad breath. Periodontal disease may be one of the causes of your pet’s bad breath. People tend to withdraw affection and attention from pets with bad breath.


What to look for:

  •   Yellow and brown tartar build-up
  •   Red inflamed gums
  •   Bleeding
  •   Bad breath
  •   Difficulty chewing
  •   Change in eating habits
  •   Change in behaviour

Dental Disease Overview

  • Bacteria that adheres to the teeth in a substance called plaque causes Dental (periodontal) disease. Plaque is composed almost entirely of bacteria with some sugars and proteins to hold them together. If not removed, plaque will extend under the gum line where the bacteria will secrete toxins, causing inflammation, resulting in damage and possible destruction of the tooth’s attachment.
  • Periodontal disease is broken up into two types: gingivitis and periodontitis.
  • Gingivitis is the less serious kind. In the early levels, the inflammation is reversible stage the damage is confined to the gums (gingiva). Dental cleaning and home care (brushing) are effective treatments. However, Gingivitis, if left untreated, may progress to periodontitis.
  • Periodontitis is the more advanced irreversible stage in which the inflammation affects the bone and soft tissues (supporting structures) of the tooth resulting in their destruction. While it is irreversible, it is possible to arrest its progression with proper professional therapy and home care.

Important Points

  • Dental disease is a progressive condition in pets. By two years of age, about 80% of dogs and 70% of cats have some degree of dental disease, and by five years of age, 95% of dogs have evidence of periodontal disease.
  • Before initiating dental home-care such as brushing, always have a thorough oral examination performed by your veterinarian.
  • There are many dental problems that you may not be aware of such as exposed roots, tartar, diseased gums, tooth fractures and root abscesses.
  • After a dental cleaning, the only way to keep your pet’s teeth clean is by brushing. “Brush, Brush, Brush!” Within a few hours of consuming food, plaque can form on the tooth, and visible calculus (tartar) builds up in two days.
  • In addition to brushing, other preventatives include, giving chew toys, oral rinses, healthy dental treats and dental diets.

Are you concerned about the anaesthetics we use on your pet?   Anaesthetic   Read our presurgical recommendations and understand the risks.