When it comes to taking care of pets, many Westport pet owners think about nutrition, exercise, and basic healthcare but neglect to consider dental care for pets. They may try to use the toothbrush and toothpaste kits at their local pet stores, but when pets pull away – as they do – and refuse to get their teeth brushed, they move on and try something new. With so many treats and chews out there promising to reduce tartar and keep pet’s breath smelling fresh, most never think to invest in canine or feline dental care to ensure good dental health. Dental disease can have many dangerous side effects. The more you can do to take a proactive approach to your pet’s dental health, the easier it will be to ensure that they have a long and healthy life.
The Most Common Disease of Pets
Did you know that dental or periodontal disease is the most common disease that impacts companion animals or pets in the United States? It affects between 70 and 80 percent of all cats and dogs by the time they are just three years of age. While we all know that dental disease can lead to bad breath, tooth loss, and a painful mouth, it might be surprising that this can also cause nutritional deficiencies due to difficulty eating, as well as lethargy. Complications can arise without good dental care for pets, including serious complications to other potentially life-threatening diseases, such as kidney and heart disease. Brushing your cat’s or dog’s teeth is the best way to slow down the development of plaque, but unfortunately, some pets will not allow this.
Routine dental cleaning is essential to maintain healthy teeth and gums for both cats and dogs. It does require that your pet be put under anesthesia to allow for proper evaluation, cleaning, polishing, and fluoride treatment. Even if your pet is well-behaved with teeth brushing at home, anesthesia is required for all professional dental care for pets in a veterinary setting. At Anchor Animal Hospital in Dartmouth, we continuously monitor your pet while they are under anesthesia using a cutting-edge multi-parameter machine that tracks heart and respiratory rates, end-tidal CO2, oxygen saturation, blood pressure, and temperature. We also have a veterinary doctor and member of our highly-trained veterinary team on hand to closely watch your pet during the procedure.
Preparing for Feline and Canine Dental Care
When Westport pet owners bring their pets to Anchor Animal Hospital for a veterinary check-up, we will discuss options for providing dental care for pets. We will examine their teeth and gums to look for any obvious problems and talk about the things you can do to prevent further health issues. Feline dental care may involve instruction in how to brush your cat’s teeth at home, as well as dietary changes that may help to prevent the build-up of plaque. Canine dental care will be similar, and any recommendations for surgery or dental procedures will be discussed during the exam. We also strongly recommend full mouth digital radiographs for every dental procedure to determine the sub-gingival health of the teeth.
Prior to any dental procedure, we do what is called a pre-anesthetic blood screening. This highly recommended test allows us to be aware of any potential problems so we can plan accordingly. Our goal is to ensure that your pet’s anesthetic protocol is tailored specifically for your pet by our doctor to enable us to provide adequate pain relief and the smoothest recovery available. Our team has received advanced dental training at the Animal Dental Training Center, providing us with the knowledge and expertise necessary to perform advanced dental care. Removing infected, broken, or otherwise bad teeth and decreasing post-operative pain and healing time, as well as instructing our clients on at-home care, can help to improve dental care for pets moving forward.
Schedule a Veterinary Check-up
If you are interested in learning more about canine dental care or feline dental care as Greater Westport pet owners, schedule an appointment at Anchor Animal Hospital in Dartmouth. A veterinary check-up is the best time to discuss dental disease with your veterinarian and determine if any dental procedures are necessary for your pet. Give us a call at 508-996-3731 to schedule an appointment or to speak with one of our veterinary team members about dental care for pets.