Though often overlooked by pet owners, dental health is a very important part of your pet’s overall health. Dental disease is pervasive enough in 50% of cats and 85% of dogs over the age of 3 to require professional dental intervention and care. Pets who do not receive regular dental brushing and gum care can suffer from serious illnesses as bacteria from the pet’s mouth enters its bloodstream and damages the kidneys, heart, and liver.
What are the consequences of ignoring my pet’s dental care?
- Oral pain and infection
- Bad breath
- Loss of teeth
- Potential infection to major body areas
- Diminished quality of life
How do I brush my cat or dog’s teeth?
We work with each family to encourage proper oral care so you are comfortable brushing your pet’s teeth as a regular part of your daily routine. Depending on each individual pet, we will also recommend professional cleaning at our office to ensure healthy teeth and gums, all of which will prolong the life of your pet.
How do I know if my cat or dog’s teeth need a professional cleaning?
During your annual wellness exam, we will check your pet’s mouth and discuss recommendations for helping your pet maintain good oral hygiene. The time to schedule a routine cleaning is before there is a build up of tartar.
If your pet is in need of a more thorough, in-office cleaning, we will use anesthesia to ensure your pet is sedated and pain free during the cleaning. Just as we would for any surgical procedure, we will take every step, including a thorough pre-surgery exam and blood work to ensure the highest levels of safety during the procedure.
Digital radiology (X-rays) of the mouth is an essential part of evaluating the teeth. X-rays are taken using the same anesthesia and monitoring procedures that we use for any surgery, assuring your pet’s comfort and accurate diagnosis. Digital X-rays are performed and analyzed the same day of the dental procedure while the patient is under anesthesia, so we can make the right recommendations for that specific patient.
Can I take my pet home the same day?
It is always our goal to send patients home as soon as medically appropriate. After many simple dental procedures, we are able to return your pet to you the same day after 5 p.m. However, pets requiring extensive oral surgery and analgesia will remain hospitalized overnight. Pain management will include both local and intravenous analgesia, which will be monitored by our licensed veterinary technicians.
What are the warning signs that my pet needs a dental checkup?
- Bad breath
- Yellow or discolored teeth
- Loose teeth
- Red, inflamed gums
- Swollen mouth or jaws
- Pain when eating
- Doesn’t play with chew toys as often