Our pets need dental cleanings and check-ups too!
Did you know that dental disease is the most commonly recognized abnormality on a physical exam of a dog or a cat? Because as owners we do not regularly brush our dog or cat's teeth, plaque, which is a film of bacteria, builds up on teeth surfaces. This plaque eventually turns to tartar (yellow/brown layering), and then tartar hardens to calculus, a very hard concrete-like layering that is composed of bacteria. If allowed to remain on the tooth surface, tartar and calculus eventually erode the overlying gums and, in severe cases, erosion of the tooth roots and bone surrounding tooth roots occurs (called periodontal disease), resulting in a diseased tooth in need of extraction.
What can you do to prevent plaque buildup and ensure that any tartar and calculus already present do not progress to severe periodontal disease? Proper home care such as brushing and feeding an oral health diet or treats helps slow plaque buildup, and yearly dental cleanings help remove heavy buildup so periodontal disease is avoided.
Diseases of the mouth and teeth, specifically gingivitis and periodontal disease, can cause significant pain when eating, and can cause dramatic behavior changes in our furry companions.
Some signs of mouth and tooth disease to be aware of are listed below. Any one or a combination of these signs may mean your pet has progressing or severe oral or dental disease.
- Halitosis (bad breath)
- Reduced/absent appetite with potential secondary weight loss
- Preference for soft food or table scraps over normal hard food
- Chewing on one side of mouth or slow, deliberate chewing; possible dropping of food
- Reduction in grooming behavior (mostly cats)
- Pawing at mouth/face
- Excessive slobbering/salivation
- More sneezing than normal
- Nasal discharge
- Acting head shy (not allowing petting of head, possible aggression when head touched)
Our dental cleaning services includes the following:
- Preanesthetic blood work
- Isoflurane gas anesthesia
- Electronic & manual anesthetic monitoring
- IV catheter and fluids
- Oral examination, charting, and periodontal probing
- Ultrasonic teeth cleaning and polishing
*Periodontal disease treatment plans may incur additional charges for such things as dental extractions, pain medications, antibiotic or other home care items if required. Estimated treatment plans will be provided at the time of the dental cleaning.
Dogs must be current on Rabies, Distemper-Combo Vaccine, Lepto, Bordetella, and be internal & external parasite free. Cats must be current on Rabies and FVRCP and be external parasite free. We should also know the cat's FIV & feline leukemia status at the time of surgery. The FIV/FeLV test and vaccines can be done the same day as surgery if necessary.