February is National Pet Dental Health Month, but pets' oral health should be a year-round priority because dental disease can lead to systemic problems involving the liver, kidneys and heart, writes veterinarian Karen Dye. Fear of anesthesia is not a reason to forgo veterinary dental cleanings, Dr. Dye notes, because thorough lab tests before the procedure, appropriate anesthetic choices and monitoring during anesthesia all tailored to a specific breed and animal help ensure a pet's safety.

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