HALE VETERINARY CLINIC
DENTAL AND ORAL SURGERY FOR PETS

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FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
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If your question is not answered here, feel free to call or e-mail Dr. Fraser Hale with your inquiry. Go to Contacts for details.

Why do pets need professional dental care?
For the same reason that humans do. Their teeth are subject to many of the same problems that ours are. Traditionally, we left our pet’s teeth alone, and extracted them when serious problems arose. Today, we know enough to care for our pets’ teeth with regular brushing and inspection. But when your regular veterinarian detects a serious dental problem in your cat or dog, she or he may refer you to a specialist, like Dr. Fraser Hale. 

Who is Doctor Fraser Hale?
He is a veterinarian who has limited his practice to dental and oral surgery since 1991. He is a Fellow of the Academy of Veterinary Dentistry (since 1994) and a diplomate of the American Veterinary Dental College (since 1997). He is the first veterinarian in Ontario and the third in Canada to earn these credentials. He is one of fewer than 150 board-certified veterinary dental specialist in the world. He sees animals by referral from other veterinarians. His clinic is in Guelph, Ontario.

Why should I see a specialist?
Dentistry is a very complicated and involved discipline. In the human field, it has spawned an entire group of professions (general dentists, orthodontists, periodontists, endodontists, oral surgeons, dental hygienists…). It is not reasonable to expect that every veterinarian will be interested in or trained in veterinary dentistry beyond dealing with very basic issues. When a condition arises that a veterinarian feels is for any reason beyond their comfort level, they now have the option of referring the case to a specialist. As a veterinary dental specialist, Dr. Hale has devoted many years to the study of the subject and has acquired the equipment and, more importantly, the experience to deal with your pet’s dental or oral problems.

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20pixelgif.gif (808 bytes)Hale Veterinary Clinic
 in Guelph, Ontario
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Where does he work?

Hale Veterinary Clinic is in Guelph Ontario.

How do I get in touch with Dr. Hale?
You should ask your regular veterinarian to refer you. He is available for messages seven days a week, and answers the phone himself as much as possible. (See Contacts for detailed numbers, address and email.) In some cases, Dr. Hale may accept calls directly from owners, but he will want to talk to your regular veterinarian before proceeding with any treatment.

How do I find Dr. Hale’s office?
There’s a detailed Map elsewhere on this web site. Guelph is about 80 kilometers northwest of Toronto, and about 15 minutes from Highway 401. Dr. Hale’s office is in the south end of Guelph, close to the highway.

What does Dr. Hale do?
He treats all sorts of dental and oral problems in cats and dogs. Usually, he leaves the routine dental work to your family veterinarian. He mostly does more involved procedures as outlined on the Services page of this web site.

How much does it cost?
Once your veterinarian has assessed your pet’s problems and Dr. Hale has consulted with her/him, he provides options and a rough estimate over the phone. However, he cannot provide a detailed estimate until he has examined the patient, and taken some X-rays. At this point, he will provide a written estimate and you will have the option of proceeding with the treatment or not. For more on the inaccuracy of phone estimates, click here.

Who do I pay?
You will be expected to pay Dr. Hale for his work when your pet is discharged. If you have pet insurance, Dr. Hale will provide all the necessary forms for submitting a claim and you will be reimbursed by your insurance carrier.

How do I pay?
Hale Veterinary Clinic is pleased to accept payment by Visa, MasterCard, Debit card, cash or any combinations of these. We do not accept cheques or other credit cards. Payment is due in full at time of discharge.

How long does it take?
Although each case is different, a typical treatment takes from two to four hours. This includes initial examination and interview, treatment planning, anesthesia, radiographs, surgery, recovery and discharge. Your pet should be able to return home with you the same day. Clients arriving for the 8:30 appointment are usually on their way home, with their pet by noon.

While Dr. Hale concentrates on the teeth, who is watching my pet?
He has a staff of registered veterinary technicians who monitor the anesthesia while Dr. Hale is operating. They will routinely monitor blood pressure, temperature, oxygen saturation, carbon dioxide levels, respiration and cardiac function. You can be introduced to these fine people by visiting Staff and can learn a bit more about this by reading Who Does What.

What other precautions are taken to minimize anesthetic risk?
Dr. Hale asks the referring veterinarian to do a thorough physical examination and any appropriate pre-surgical tests (blood tests, urinalysis, chest x-rays…) and then send the results to him before he sees your pet. On the day of surgery, he will tailor the anesthetic regimen to your pet, selecting from a variety of agents. All patients are intubated with a cuffed tube and anesthesia is maintained with a gas vapour anesthetic and oxygen. Intravenous catheterization and fluid support are standard, as is thermal support.

What is done about pain management?
The best way to minimize pain is to prevent it as much as possible. Pre-emptive pain management involves giving analgesics prior to surgery to reduce the chemical reactions that lead to the development of pain. Animals having a potentially painful procedure receive an analgesic in their pre-anesthetic sedation as well as a long lasting local anesthetic nerve block at the site of surgery. If appropriate, the patient may also be given a long lasting injection of an analgesic upon recovery and more (in an oral or transdermal form) may be sent home for the owners to give for a few days after treatment.

How will my pet feel afterwards?
Most animals are up on their feet within half an hour of the end of surgery. Recovery varies from case to case of course, but most animals are back to normal routines within a day or two.

Other questions?
Ask Dr. Fraser Hale directly by phoning him at 1-866-toothvet (Ontario except 807) or 519-822-8598 or by email at toothvet@toothvet.ca

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20pixelgif.gif (808 bytes)Services ] Referrals ] A Visit ] [ Frequently Asked Questions ] Virtual Tour ] Staff ] Map to Office ] Dental Care for Pets ] Forms & Handouts ] News ] Continuing Ed. ] Old CUSP Articles ] Book ] Contacts ] Links ]
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1-866-TOOTHVET

(toll-free in Ontario except 807 area)
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519-822-8598

2010 Fraser Hale