Did you know that dental disease affects a large majority of beloved pets in the United States every year? Studies reveal that dogs and cats will both be highly likely to have some degree of dental issues before they are three years of age. Bad breath isn’t the real problem here, although most pet owners will argue that it can get pretty bad. Bad breath is just one of many signs of dental disease, and it is not normal. Most pet owners think that bad breath comes from the food their pet eats or the things their pet chew on in the backyard, but the truth is that it is more likely a symptom of a much more significant and dangerous problem.
Why Dental Disease is Dangerous
The underlying cause of dental disease in pets and humans is a condition that occurs when plaque, bacteria, and tartar begin to buildup on the teeth. This can get trapped beneath the gum line, which can be absorbed into the bloodstream, wreaking havoc on major organs throughout the body. In addition to bad breath, pets at the early stages of dental disease will likely also have visible yellow tartar buildup on their teeth and possibly red and swollen gums. Your local veterinarian in Dartmouth can help you to detect these symptoms early. If left untreated, these early warning signs could lead to chronic pain and inflammation. Anchor Animal Hospital offers a wide range of services to provide comprehensive dental care for pets. Feline and canine dental care should be part of your annual check-up routine when you visit our Dartmouth animal hospital.
Animals are experts when it comes to hiding signs of pain. It goes back to their natural instincts when pain and illness was a sign of weakness in the wild. Cats are even better at dogs, so if you think your pet is just fine even though your veterinarian reveals swollen or irritated gums, don’t ignore it. A pet that is lethargic, irritable, and has a decreased appetite may be experiencing all of this as a result of advancing dental disease. When you think about it, if we had chronic, life-changing pain due to poor dental health, we might be tired, cranky, and less likely to want to eat healthy foods. With a majority of pet food being dry and crunchy, it’s no wonder pets with dental issues do not want to eat. A proper and thorough dental check-up, cleaning, and procedures designed to address dental disease can make a world of difference in a pet who has been silently dealing with pain.
How a Diagnosis is Made
If you or your veterinarian in Dartmouth suspect that your pet may have dental disease, a complete check-up should be completed. While a visual check during a routine check-up may be helpful to spot minor issues or symptoms of a larger problem at work, x-rays are the best method for determining what is going on with your pet. A majority of the pet’s teeth are under the gumline, which is why even healthy-looking teeth could be hiding disease and inflammation where it is not visible. One veterinary study of dental care for pets revealed that in more than 50 percent of dogs and 53 percent of cats that had normal-looking teeth, diseased teeth were discovered underneath the gumline. Our Dartmouth animal hospital specializes in feline and canine dental care. We can provide annual check-ups, cleanings, dental surgery, extraction, and advanced dental procedures in-house at Anchor Animal Hospital.
During x-rays and a thorough evaluation of your pet’s teeth, it is necessary to put your pet under anesthesia. This is done for two primary reasons: one, to ensure the safety of your pet and the veterinarian during the procedure, and two, to allow your pet to rest comfortably during the process. Anesthesia is much safer than most people think. At Anchor Animal Hospital, we screen your pet’s bloodwork and perform other tests before any procedures that require anesthesia to determine their complete health outlook. While your pet is under anesthesia, they are monitored continuously on a cutting edge multi-parameter machine, which tracks heart and respiratory rates, end-tidal CO2, oxygen saturation, blood pressure, and temperature. Each pet is also closely monitored by the veterinarian and one of our highly trained staff members. We encourage pre-anesthetic blood screening for all pets, but we do require it for any pet that is seven years of age or older. We are able to use the collected data to create an individual anesthetic protocol that is tailored for your pet’s specific needs for the best possible results.
Concerned About Dental Care for Pets?
If you think that your pet’s dental health may be at risk, make sure to contact a veterinarian in Dartmouth at Anchor Animal Hospital. We can provide a wide range of services to support feline and canine dental care, including routine cleanings, visual exams, x-rays, and advanced dental services. Contact our team by calling 508-996-3731 and speak with one of our veterinary staff to ask questions, schedule appointments, or inquire about our services. Located in Dartmouth, Massachusetts, we provide quality veterinary services to pets throughout the Southcoast area.