Just like in humans, the dental health of cats and dogs is important to their overall health. There are things you as an owner can do to take preventative steps in your pet’s dental care, and the team at My Best Friend Veterinary Center is here to help!
Dental care is very important for cats and dogs. Plaque and tartar that build-up on your pet’s teeth can lead to gingivitis. Reddened, bleeding gums, difficulty chewing, and bad breath are all signs of gingivitis. Untreated gingivitis can progress to a more advanced form of periodontal disease, including bacterial infections that, if left untreated, can cause the loss of teeth.
The same bacteria causing gingivitis and periodontal disease can be carried into the bloodstream and cause damage to your pet’s kidneys, heart, liver and other organs. Regular dental cleanings remove plaque and tartar and prevent gingivitis and periodontal disease.
We recommend regular dental cleanings if indicated as part of your pet’s overall health care plan.
While we do look at your pet’s teeth when they come in for an annual wellness exam, we also offer dental cleaning as a separate service because we know how important it is they keep their smile bright and healthy!
Because anesthesia is required to keep your pet safe and still during the cleaning, we perform a thorough physical exam and blood tests to ensure that your pet is healthy enough for this procedure. These tests also help us develop an anesthetic protocol that is specific for your pet.
Once anesthesia is administered, the cleaning begins. We use modern and safe ultrasonic equipment to clean each tooth thoroughly, both above and below the gum line. We polish your pet’s teeth which creates a smooth, lustrous surface that is more resistant to plaque buildup.
Your pet’s dental care doesn’t end after he or she leaves our clinic. Our staff will show you how to brush your pet’s teeth at home. This is an excellent way to prevent plaque and tartar buildup and promote good oral hygiene.
Many people come to us asking how to tell if their pet is having dental trouble. Some signs to watch for include if the pet stops eating regularly, paws or rubs its face, or has bad breath that could indicate a problem with their oral health.
In dogs, it is never recommended they use hoofs of any kind for chewing, as they can break teeth. If you are going to give your dog something to chew on, use beef bones or rawhide.
There is also a special diet called T/D which may be recommended to encourage better dental health. T/D diet foods are available both for dogs and cats, and both are used to prevent tartar buildup and gingivitis. Our nutritional counseling services can help determine if your pet’s diet may be affecting their dental health.
If your pet has bad breath, is having difficulty chewing or is refusing to eat his or her normal food, please contact My Best Friend Veterinary Center for an appointment so that we can examine your pet’s mouth and teeth.