You are a responsible pet owner and you take good care of your pet. But do you always remember to take care of your pet’s teeth?
Dental disease, specifically periodontal disease, is the most common ailment affecting pet dogs and cats. According to the American Veterinary Dental Society, more than 80 percent of dogs and 70 percent of cats develop gum disease by their third year. Periodontal disease can have a serious impact on both your pet’s well-being and general health.
Regular veterinary dental check-ups at Critter Doctor Animal Hospital, combined with good dental hygiene at home, can increase your pet’s health, vitality, and well-being and help ensure your pet leads the best life possible.
If left untreated, dental disease can not only be painful and inhibit proper nutrition, but can also lead to serious systemic issues that may threaten your pet’s overall health before symptoms are noticeable. For those reasons, our veterinary team strongly considers dental care an important piece of your dog’s or cat’s preventive veterinary health care program.
Protecting your pet’s dental health
Just like in humans, infection and inflammation of the gums and supporting tissues of the teeth are caused by bacteria present in plaque and tartar. When tartar builds up on your pet’s teeth, it can lead to bad breath, bleeding, receding gums and even eventual tooth loss.
The veterinarians at Critter Doctor Animal Hospital and their staff believe that the centerpiece of good dental care is a complete oral exam followed by a thorough cleaning designed to remove plaque and slow its buildup.
At Critter Doctor Animal Hospital, your pet’s dental appointment includes:
- Complete examination and consultation by the doctor
- Pre-anesthetic blood panel
- IV catheter, fluids, general anesthesia and sophisticated electronic monitoring
- Dental radiographs
- Thorough, professional cleaning using an ultrasonic scaler
- Probing and charting pocket depth of all surfaces of all teeth
- Fluoride treatment
- Sealant application to help prevent future decay
Should we find any issues, such as evidence of gum or tooth erosion, gingivitis, or excessive plaque buildup, we will discuss this with you and offer treatment options for your pet. We are experienced dental practitioners and are capable of offering a number of dental procedures and oral surgeries.
Caring for Your Pet’s Teeth and Gums at Home
You can prevent serious dental problems by making sure your pet receives dental exams at the time of each vaccination, again at 6 months of age, and then annually. In between visits to your veterinarian at Critter Doctor Animal Hospital, check your pet’s teeth regularly for signs of problems. Brushing your pet’s teeth is the single most important procedure you can do to maintain good oral health. If performed regularly, brushing dramatically decreases the incidence of gingivitis and can increase the interval between teeth cleaning appointments.
Signs of Pet Dental Problems
Halitosis, or bad breath, is the most common sign of dental disease. Classic “doggy breath” is not necessarily normal. The major cause of halitosis is periodontal disease. This is an infection of the gums and potentially the other supporting structures of the teeth. Plaque builds up every day on the tooth surface including at the gum line.
Left in place, the plaque can mineralize, or harden, in less than two days, forming calculus or tartar. The continued build-up of tartar both above and below the gum line can eventually produce an environment for certain types of bacteria that may be more destructive to the periodontal tissues and also produce a more noticeable odor.
Other symptoms of dental disease include:
- A yellowish-brown crust of plaque on the teeth near the gum line
- Red and swollen gums
- Pain or bleeding when your pet eats or when the mouth or gums are touched
- Decreased appetite or difficulty eating
- Loose or missing teeth
If your pet is experiencing any of the above symptoms, please call Critter Doctor Animal Hospital today at (425) 823-6762 for an appointment, so your pet does not need to spend any more time suffering with oral discomfort.
Pet Dental-Care Packages
We take pet dental health very seriously and offer comprehensive veterinary dental cleanings and diagnostics to spot infections before they’re painful to your pet. We want your pet to be happy and healthy. Our Pet Dental-Care Package includes:
- Complete consultation by the doctor: there is no substitute for a hands-on evaluation by a veterinary professional.
- Pre-anesthetic blood panel: We test all pet organ function prior to anesthesia to identify problems and make anesthesia as safe as possible.
- IV catheter, fluids, general anesthesia and sophisticated electronic monitoring: We are highly trained and experienced in pet anesthesia, and you can be assured your dog or cat’s anesthesia will be individualized to their specific needs and your pet will be closely monitored throughout the entire process.
- Veterinary Dental X-rays: Radiographs allow us to get a picture of your pet’s mouth below the gum line and identify periodontal disease, fractured teeth or oral cancer that is not visible without x-rays.
- Thorough, professional teeth cleaning and polishing: Ultrasonic scaling removes plaque above and below the gum line. It has been shown to actually kill the bacteria that cause periodontal disease. Polishing leaves the teeth smooth and less susceptible to rapid accumulation of tartar and bacteria, as can happen when a pet teeth are improperly cleaned.
- Peace of mind knowing your pet is receiving the gold standard in veterinary dental care that can prevent painful dental disease, and save costs down the road.
Caring for pets and their people.
At Critter Doctor Animal Hospital, expect exceptional care and service for your furry friends.
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