While most pet owners are really good about bringing their pets in for regular veterinary check-ups, advanced veterinary dentistry often gets overlooked. Studies show that a majority of pets will have some degree of dental or gum disease by the time they are just three years old. Unchecked and untreated dental issues can cause some pretty serious side effects, including heart disease, kidney disease, and liver disease. Periodontal disease starts when the tartar above and below the gumline is formed as plaque hardens. The sooner you can see a dog dentist in Massachusetts and begin at-home care, including regular teeth brushing and the use of dog dental treats, the easier it will be to maintain your pet’s health. Pet owners should schedule a visit to the vet in Westport, MA, and the surrounding area to at least get a dental evaluation in addition to their annual vet check-up.
Common Signs of Dental Health Issues
Not sure if your pet has dental issues? Don’t dogs always have bad breath? Many pet owners aren’t sure about advanced veterinary dentistry, especially when concerned about costs or unnecessary discomfort for their pets. When you come to Anchor Animal Hospital for a regular veterinary check-up, our team of highly trained and experienced vet staff will take a look at your pet’s mouth to examine for any potential issues. We check for things like broken or loose teeth, discolored teeth, or teeth that are covered in tartar, as well as any medical symptoms, such as bleeding, swelling, and abnormal drooling. As a pet owner, these are things that you can check for yourself, especially if you do at-home brushing and other in between treatments.
Some of the things to look for in your pet’s mouth include:
- Extremely bad breath – worse than usual
- Teeth that are broken or seem loose
- Extra teeth – these can sometimes be retained baby teeth that can cause issues as your pet gets older
- Teeth that are discolored or have a lot of tartar that won’t come off with brushing
- Reduced appetite or pets that drop food from their mouth when eating
- Apparent pain in or around the pet’s mouth
- Bleeding or swelling in the areas that are in and around the mouth
- Abnormal drooling or chewing
Routine Dental Cleanings
One way to avoid dental issues with your pet is to schedule routine dental cleanings. The frequency of necessary cleanings will be determined by your pet’s dental health, breed, and lifestyle. Pets that allow at-home brushing may not require as many cleanings as pets that refuse the brush. Dog dental treats can be helpful at reducing plaque but check with your dog dentist in Massachusetts before using them as part of your dental cleaning routine. Visiting a trusted vet in Westport, MA, can help to add years to your pet’s life and prevent a painful mouth or difficulty eating. Regardless of your pet’s age, it is never too soon or too late to start a dental cleaning routine.
It is essential to understand that a routine dental cleaning requires that your pet be put under anesthesia. This allows for a proper evaluation, cleaning, polishing, and fluoride treatment. Pets are continuously monitored while under anesthesia at Anchor Animal Hospital, using a cutting-edge multi-parameter machine that tracks heart and respiratory rates, end-tidal CO2, oxygen saturation, blood pressure, and temperature. Before any surgery or dental procedure, we do a pre-anesthetic blood screening to be aware of any potential problems so we can plan accordingly. Each tooth is individually probed by our advanced veterinary staff and charted for issues like gingivitis, tartar, mobility, and other pathology. We also strongly recommend a full mouth digital radiograph to allow our doctors to look underneath the gum line to identify diseased and healthy teeth.
Schedule a Visit with a Vet in Westport, MA
If you would like to bring your pet in to see a professional dog dentist in Massachusetts, consider scheduling an appointment with us at Anchor Animal Hospital in Dartmouth. We offer a wide range of advanced veterinary dentistry services and can provide at-home brushing, and dental dog treats advice to help you keep your dog’s teeth in great shape! Call today at 508-996-3731 to speak with one of our team members or to learn more about our dentistry services for pets in the Southcoast area.