Meet tiny Chu Chu

Chu Chu, a Yorkshire Terrier, is our tiniest patient of the year, weighing in at only 1.3 kg and is 2 years old! Most of our feline patients weigh more that that! Chu Chu first came to the clinic to get her annual vaccination booster. During the routine examination our veterinarian discovered that Chu Chu had grade 3 to 4 dental disease. This would be painful for poor Chu Chu so her owners made an appointment to have her teeth scaled and polished and to have any decayed teeth removed.

Chu Chu has had previous surgeries in the past. She had orthopaedic surgery on both her stifles (her knee caps) and on her front left carpus (the wrist). During these surgeries Chu Chu had a slow recovery and hypothermia after her general anaesthetics. To prevent this happening again and to assess the internal health of Chu Chu, a pre-anaesthetic blood test was conducted. The results returned normal except for mild dehydration so she was ok to go ahead with the dental cleaning procedure.

The key focus for Chu Chu was to keep the anaesthetic length as short as possible, and to keep her warm. Being such a small animal, Chu Chu could lose body heat very quickly combined with the cold water that is used during the dental procedure. While our veterinarian performed on Chu Chu's teeth, our nurses kept Chu Chu's body temperature stable using blankets, heated wheat bags, electric heat pads, warmed intravenous fluids and "hot hands" which are warm water in surgical gloves. This worked very well. Chu Chu's body temperature only dropped slightly and she had a quick recovery from the general anaesthetic.

Chu Chu's dental surgery went well too. She had her teeth scaled and polished, and had four teeth removed - two were loose, one was a deciduous (baby) molar and the last was a molar that had exposed roots due to gum regression.

A few days later Chu Chu had her post dental check up. She was doing exceptionally well. She was noticeably brighter and happier than before her dental surgery.