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Oral Hygiene: It’s More Important Than You Think!

Oral hygiene plays a very important role in the overall health of your pet. The buildup of plaque and tartar on the teeth not only contributes to oral pain and bad breath, but can also affect internal organ function. The bacteria that resides in the mouth can easily enter the bloodstream through the gums, quickly spreading to the liver, kidneys and heart. Secondary damage to these organs is one of the most common and most serious side effects of chronic oral disease.  Hemlock Bluffs Animal Hospital is very proactive in treating oral disease and preventing long term ill side effects from lack of oral care. Six month oral exams, routine annual pet dental cleanings and consistent home care are all very important in prevention of disease.  Our Veterinary Dentist provides all these services for pet owners in the Cary, Apex, Fuquay-Varina and Holly Springs areas.

The Complete Dental Prophylaxis

When a dental prophylaxis (cleaning) is needed, your pet will be scheduled for a day visit for the cleaning, and will be dropped off in the morning, and ready to go home by afternoon. Your pet will be evaluated by our Veterinary Dental Specialist for anesthetic safety with a comprehensive exam and pre-anesthetic blood work. A heavy IV sedative will be administered to ensure your pet is comfortable, and once they are very sleepy, an IV catheter will be placed. Warm IV fluids will be started and IV anesthesia will be administered through the catheter. At this point, your pet will be completely asleep. A breathing tube will be passed into the trachea (windpipe) and your pet will be placed on gas and oxygen to maintain their anesthesia. They will then be carefully wrapped in a warm water recirculating pad to maintain appropriate body temperature and keep them warm and cozy during the procedure. Monitoring  equipment will be placed to record the heart rate, respiratory rate, body temperature, oxygenation, anesthesia level and blood pressure. In addition to this equipment, a trained veterinary anesthesia nurse will be assigned to your pet to monitor their parameters constantly. After the teeth are thoroughly cleaned, they will be rinsed, polished, and treated with fluoride. Each tooth will be examined for deep gum pockets or defects, charted appropriately, and photographed. Before and after photographs will be provided to you after your pet’s dental cleaning at the time of dismissal, and you will take home a happier and healthier pet!



Moving to Hemlock Bluffs Animal Hospital was the best choice for our family! From the moment we arrive for appointments, our pets are welcomed and made to feel comfortable.  Every member of the staff, from the technicians to the doctors are very knowledgeable, and really take the time to listen and answer any questions or address concerns that we may have. Our dog, Fletcher is always so happy to greet the staff at the front desk when we arrive...of course they have the best treats! The doctors have been so wise as we have navigated Fletcher's allergy issues, which has been new territory for us. We know Fletcher is receiving the very best attention and care, as well as our 2 cats. Trust is so important, and we are thankful that we have a wonderful and caring animal hospital like Hemlock Bluffs in our community!

Amy Erb

Great place with professional, courteous staff. Been going there for over 10 years. Dr. Snyder is very special.

Stu Allen

We recently switched to Hemlock based on great recommendations for general care for our 4-year old Lab, Molly. Last week, she suddenly became ill and needed medical attention. The staff made immediate accommodations to see her and took phenomenal care of her. Dr. Snyder was very thorough in her diagnosis of pancreatitis and took time both on the phone and in person to explain everything and answer all of our questions. She even called after hours to check and see how Molly was doing the evening we brought her home, which was a very nice touch. It was a long day, but our worry was eased knowing our baby was in the hands of professionals who truly care. I have no hesitation recommending Hemlock Bluffs to anyone, and they’re worth a drive if you don’t live nearby.

Drew Questell

I cannot say enough good things about Hemlock Bluffs. Friendly and welcoming staff every visit. I wouldn't trust anywhere else with my pups.

Amber Lynn

Hemlock Bluffs is unlike any other vet I’ve been to. The clinic and staff are incredibly warm, and you can see their eyes light up as soon as they see your pet. It’s clear they care, and will sit down and take the time to listen. I’ve never had an issue getting my cat seen, especially when she’s sick. Dr. Parker is amazing!

Olivia Miller
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