Dental disease in dogs and cats is almost inevitable with age, but there are many measures owners can instigate to minimalise the effects on quality of life.
Advanced dental disease will be a source of chronic pain and inappetance and untreated infections can lead to more severe internal diseases such as valvular heart disease and kidney infections.
Normal teeth are clean and white with pale pink even gums. Dental disease will show build up of plaque or tartar, which is flaky yellow/brown in colour, whilst the gums will inflame a redder colour with swelling and bleeding and loosening of teeth. This is accompanied by halitosis which is an unpleasant permanent smell to the breath.
We recommend that you regularly check the teeth and you can use commercial dog/cat toothpastes which you can apply with a finger brush or toothbrush or combine with hard chewy objects such as dentasticks or other commercial products. The toothpastes are flavoured chicken or fish for animals to enjoy and the superior products also contain an enzyme to breakdown tartar. We always carry out a free dental check at your annual booster and it is also carried out at your free 6 monthly check if you are a member of our health plan (aka VIP club).
A well timed dental scale and polish will remove the tartar and subsequent bacteria allowing the gums to return to normal and stopping disease of the tooth roots. Once roots are damaged the teeth do have to be extracted so timely and regular dentals will prevent this.
When your animal comes in for a dental we first conduct a full health check including the heart to ensure that there is no increased aneasthetic risk. This is always carried out by a vet. If there are concerns we may recommend taking a screening blood sample first. The animal then receives premedication to allow relaxation and reduce the amount of anaesthetic required. The animal is then anaesthetized and intubated with a tube of pure oxygen flowing throughout the procedure. We then can safely use an ultrasound scaler to remove all the plaque, assess the teeth including root xrays if required, and finally we use a polishing machine for that final glimmering smile !
For the month of March, any cat or dog that has a dental treatment will go home with a tasty meal for that evening. Give us a call today to book you appointment to come along to an open surgery for the vet to asses if a dental treatment is required.
Watch the video here of how to clean your pets teeth