A Day At The Dentist

A Day At The Dentist

With dental month fast approaching, we wanted to make sure those of you scheduling your dental cleanings have an idea of what happens on the day of the dental procedure here at Pikesville.

It starts from the moment you schedule your appointment for the procedure. Planning the night before - because we want to make sure your pet is prepared for anesthesia. We recommend withholding food after 8pm the night before the procedure. This means making sure that your pet doesn’t have access to any food - yours, other pets in the house, or their own attempts to get into the pantry. It is fine to leave water down overnight. We also recommend bringing your cat carrier out at least the night before the procedure - if not sooner. Cats are wise - can’t trick them into ‘going for a car ride’ like their canine counterparts.

For the morning of surgery - be sure to allow time in the morning to walk your dog and round up your cat. We open at 7:30 to start accepting drop offs for procedures. We prefer to have your pet here as soon as possible - ideally between 7:30 and 8:30 so we can get them prepped for surgery. Upon arrival, you will be asked to sign an authorization form and leave a good contact number for us to reach you as needed. It’s important to leave a phone number that you can answer in case we need to get a hold of you.

Dental BandA

Once admitted, your pet will be examined, pre-anesthetic bloodwork will be drawn to make sure we don’t have any underlying metabolic concerns. In some cases, this blood will have been done prior to the day of the procedure. Your pet will be given a pre-anesthesia medication that works two ways. These medications provide mild sedation to help with anxiety of the day and also helps to smooth anesthesia. Once bloodwork and exam are complete, we place an IV catheter to help us to administer medications and fluids during the procedure.

Once under anesthesia, your pet is being closely monitored by a trained veterinary nurse while another nurse cleans/scales and polishes the teeth. The next step is to take dental xrays and the doctor will perform the oral exam looking for any abnormalities including periodontal disease, tooth abnormalities, etc. This part of the procedure is very similar to that of a visit to your dentist! Any diseased teeth and gingiva are then dealt with depending on the findings of the exam and xrays. Some may require extractions, others may need other periodontal work.

After completion of the dental, your pet is recovered from anesthesia. The doctor will then call you with an update to let you know they are awake and how the procedure went, treatments, etc. At that time we will be able to let you know what time your pet can be picked up.

Post operative care will vary depending on the extent of your pets procedure. A nurse will go over your discharge instructions and make sure you are comfortable with the post op care your pet requires.

That about sums it up! We look forward to hearing from you and as always - we are here for you if you have any further questions or concerns!


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Office Hours

Our General Hours


7:30 am-7:00 pm


7:30 am-7:00 pm


7:30 am-7:00 pm


7:30 am-7:00 pm


7:30 am-7:00 pm


8:00 am-1:00 pm



  • "Best vet, hands down! They are compassionate and truly care for animals."
    Alexander P.
  • "Great staff. Great Doctors. Great care! Can't say enough good things!"
    Ed S.
  • "I don't have enough positive words to say about Pikesville Animal Hospital. Dr. Zumpano and his crew are top notch, and they all clearly love our pets, and above and beyond that, know what they are doing! Best Veterinary Clinic in the state!"
    Natasha G.
  • "[They] were the most professional staff ever as they worked with my doggie for over 3 months to guide her through the healing process. From welcoming, attentive front office staff, to the care and support from the professionals, ALL made for the most positive experience."
    Mamie H.
  • "Dr. Zumpano and all the staff at Pikesville Animal Hospital are wonderful. Expert professionals motivated by their obvious compassion and love for animals - best possible combination! Will definitely continue bringing all of my pets here."
    Kim P.