Have you ever thought that dental care for your pet might just be an optional service you should consider? The more you learn about how your pet’s dental condition could affect their well-being, you may determine a higher priority for it. Read on to learn more and ask your veterinarian the next time you are in for an exam.
Wolftever Pet Wellness Group is committed to preventing and treating periodontal disease. As part of your pet’s regular examination, your veterinarian will perform a comprehensive oral exam. Based on the size, age, breed, and health of your pet, the doctor will make recommendations for appropriate pet dental care and oral health at that time.
The oral and dental health of all animals, whether large or small, is critical. Studies have estimated that by 3 years of age, over 80% of dogs and cats have periodontal disease. Research has shown that bacteria from the mouth can result in disease in other organs of the body, primarily the kidneys, heart, and liver.
Consider these points about dental health for your pet:
How can I tell if my pet has a dental problem?
Bad breath is often the first indicator of dental disease. There are many symptoms that might lead to your cat or dog needing dental treatment. Among some things to watch for, cats and dogs can exhibit reluctance to eat or play with toys, bleeding gums, eroded teeth, and failing to groom (cats). Dental disease progresses in stages — if caught early, you can prevent further damage and save as many teeth as possible.
How is the rest of your pet’s body affected by bad teeth?
Infected gums and teeth aren’t just a problem in the mouth — the heart, kidneys, liver, intestinal tract, and joints may also be infected. The tartar and any infected areas of the mouth contain a multitude of bacteria that can ‘seed’ to other parts of the body. With regular dental care, you can prevent some of these more serious side effects.
My pet needs a dental cleaning — what is involved with that?
As mentioned above, pre-dental blood work is required. This is a check on the overall health of the pet to make sure that liver, kidneys, and blood counts are within normal ranges and to reduce any risks possible prior to the anesthesia. Many pets with bad teeth will be put on an antibiotic a few days prior to the dental to calm the infection and reduce the possibility of complications. Your pet will fast the evening before for the anesthesia. While under anesthesia, a veterinary assistant continually monitors your pet’s vital signs, including his breathing, oxygen levels, blood pressure, temperature, heart rate, and heart rhythm. The dental procedure is similar to a human dental cleaning – tartar removal, checking for cavities, gingival (gum) pockets, loose teeth, any growths on the gums or palate, removal of diseased teeth, and finally, polishing. The polishing is to smooth the tooth after tartar removal, as the tartar pits the tooth. A smooth tooth will not encourage tartar formation as easily as a roughened tooth.
At Wolftever Pet Wellness Group, we are committed to preventing and treating periodontal disease. As part of your pet’s regular examination, your veterinarian will perform a comprehensive oral exam. Based on the size, age, breed, and health of your pet, the doctor will make recommendations for appropriate pet dental care and oral health at that time.