Pet owners are often unaware of the importance of dental care for their pets. Dog and cat teeth are very similar to human teeth in the care that they require and a lack of proper tooth care can lead to dental disease.
If you observe bad breath, tartar covered teeth, broken or loose teeth, swelling or bleeding gums, oral pain, and loss of appetite or drooling, it is time for an exam. These are the signs that your pet has dental disease. If your veterinarian diagnoses dental disease in your pet, a cleaning and more thorough exam will need to be done under anesthesia.
Before an anesthetic procedure, your pet will have a catheter placed into their arm for delivering drugs, IV fluids and to have quick access to their vein for the highest safety measures. While under, the dental technician will scale, clean, polish and complete full mouth radiographs to make sure anything not seen on exam can be noted and taken care of. The veterinarian checks the health of every tooth, and performs extractions if needed. In cases of severe disease, a second procedure may be needed. This procedure is similar to what our dentists would do at our own annual appointment.
Once the procedure is complete is it important to keep up with the oral health of your pet to prevent further concerns. Dental chews or toys, bones, and brushing their teeth daily can all help with keeping tartar build up to a minimum and gingivitis at bay. Oral health is important and can help your pet live a happier life. Consult with your veterinarian if you have further questions.