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Dental Care For Dogs & Cats

Education > Dog Health & Behaviour 12th April 2019
 


It is estimated that 85% of all pets have periodontal disease by the time they are 3 years old. Regular dental care is important to prevent bad breath, gingivitis, tooth decay and other secondary health issues caused by bacterial infections.

Celebrate June Dental Month: Book an appointment for your dogs and cats and enjoy a special Dental Month discount. Call any of our clinics today.

PERIODONTAL DISEASE

Bacteria combines with food particles and saliva to form plaque and tartar on the teeth. The bacteria works its way under the gums, causing gingivitis (inflammation of the gums) and destroys the supporting tissue around the tooth, leading to tooth loss. The bacteria can also travel in the bloodstream to infect the heart, kidneys and lungs.

A professional veterinary dental cleaning is the best way to remove plaque and tartar from your pet’s teeth, below the gum line and check the overall dental health.

HOW DO I KNOW IF MY PET NEEDS DENTAL CLEANING?

Our pets are very good at hiding pain. You may not know if your dog or cat is suffering from a painful dental disease. Regular inspection of your pet’s mouth is important to catch dental disease in early stages. Signs of dental disease include:

  • bad breath
  • red and swollen gums
  • tartar buildup
  • bleeding along gum line
  • excessive drooling
  • pawing at mouth
  • difficulty picking up food and eating



WHAT ARE THE BENEFITS OF DENTAL CLEANING?

A professional dental cleaning, performed under general anaesthesia, removes plaque and tartar on teeth surfaces and bacteria under the gums. This prevents infection to the mouth and other organs, and protects your pet from pain and tooth loss.

CAN MY PET’S DENTAL BE DONE WITHOUT ANAESTHESIA?

Even when we brush our teeth twice daily and our teeth look healthy, our dentist still needs to remove plaque and tartar from below our gum line during our 6-monthly dental. Without general anaesthesia, it is not possible to ensure that tartar is completely and safely removed from below our pet’s gum line and from their back teeth.

Pet dental should only be performed by trained veterinary professionals to prevent injury, infection and tooth fractures.

IS GENERAL ANAESTHESIA SAFE FOR MY PET?

Modern veterinary anaesthesia is considered very safe. The risk of losing an animal under anaesthesia while going through routine procedures, such as dental and sterilisation, is very low. Anaesthetic drugs are processed and removed by the liver and kidney. Pre-anaesthetic blood testing is important before any dental or surgical procedures, especially in senior pets, to rule out underlying health issues and determine the safest dose and type of anaesthetic drug to use.

HOW CAN I KEEP MY PET’S TEETH CLEAN?

Left untreated, gingivitis and plaque will worsen over time. Your pet will eventually develop cavities, gingival recession, bacterial contamination, loose teeth and root exposure. This can be painful for your pets and also more difficult and expensive to treat. Regular home dental care and a 6-monthly dental check by your vet is the best way to maintain your pet’s dental health. Call our Mount Pleasant clinics to schedule a dental check today.

  • Get your dog or cat used to brushing from a very young age.
  • Use pet-appropriate toothpaste and toothbrush.
  • Feed good quality pet food.
  • Provide safe and good quality chew toys.
  • Oral rinses may help decrease plaque. Speak to your vet about safe dental products.