Dental hygiene is an important part of your pet's health and we take it very seriously. Did you know that dental disease can be associated with other serious health problems such as heart disease and kidney disease? Did you know that “dog breath” is not normal and could actually be a sign of an unhealthy mouth? This bad breath is caused by bacteria and if left untreated this bacteria will lead to plaque and tartar buildup on your pet’s teeth, which results in bad breath, reddened inflamed gums, and other more severe and painful stages of dental disease. Further progression of dental disease can include symptoms such as drooling, discomfort while eating, and may even cause your pet to lose their teeth. If your pet’s teeth
have gotten to this stage, using treats and chews are not likely to help and truly needs medical attention. The truth is that pets actually have a higher incidence of dental disease than humans. Of all pets over two years old, 85 percent have some form of dental disease.
When your pet comes to see us, we will examine their teeth and gums to help determine if there are any issues. After the visual examination and depending upon what we see, we may recommend a dental cleaning, or options for at-home dental care. If it is determined that a professional dental cleaning is in order, we can schedule it at that time. Even if we find that your pet’s teeth and gums are nice and healthy, we can offer you
expert advice to help keep them that way! Many dental problems can be managed through at home care and by bringing your pet to us for regular dental checkups and teeth cleanings.
It is our goal to help your pet live a long, healthy life, and we know that maintaining a healthy mouth is part of that. Ask us what you can do at home to control plaque and help protect your pet from dental disease.
Professional Teeth Cleaning
When your pet has plaque and tartar on their teeth, the only cure is a professional teeth cleaning. Professional teeth cleanings are done under anesthesia because we can’t simply ask the pets to keep their mouths opened or to sit still. Anesthesia also prevents pain when working on sore or sensitive areas of the mouth. The veterinarian will determine what types of treatment are necessary, but generally pet teeth cleanings include:
- Pre-anesthetic care such as blood tests, ECG and IV catheter placement
- Dental x-rays
- Antiseptic rinse, Teeth scaling and tartar removal
- Removal of any loose, cracked or diseased teeth
- Post-treatment antibiotics and/or pain relievers
The cleaning process can stir up a lot of bacteria that had been trapped in the tartar and below the gum line, so it is very likely that your pet will be
given antibiotics to take at home. Pain relief medications are not always given after routine cleanings, but if we had to do something painful such as pull a tooth, they will be prescribed to help manage the discomfort.
Maintaining Oral Health and Hygiene at Home
There are many options out there to help keep your pet’s teeth clean after their professional cleaning, the most effective is tooth brushing. If you go slowly, most dogs will get used to it, although cats can be more resistant. Using toothpaste made for pets is important because those made for people are not safe for your pet to swallow. Other treatment options to maintain oral health include oral rinses, water additives, and chews.
Country Hills Veterinary Clinic recommends routine dental care for your pet. Call us at (830)-438-2269 today to discuss your pet’s dental care needs and how we can help!