Keeping Mouths Happy and Healthy
The condition of a pet’s mouth is one of the most important indicators of their overall health, yet sadly dental care is one of the most neglected aspects of pet care. In fact, more than 50% of all dogs and cats have some form of periodontal disease by the time they’re just three years old. In its most advanced stage, this disease can affect a pet’s internal organs and put their life at risk.
The good news is, with regular at home-care and professional dental cleanings as needed, you can lower or even eliminate your pet’s risk of periodontal disease.
Signs of Periodontal Disease
As a pet owner, it’s important for you to know the signs of periodontal disease so you can be proactive about your pet’s dental health. Some common signs of periodontal disease are:
- Bad breath
- Decreased appetite
- Loose teeth
- Bleeding gums or blood on chew toys, in water bowl, etc.
- Brown/yellow tartar build-up along the gum-line
- Sudden preference for wet/soft foods
During your pet’s physical exam, the Doctor will thoroughly examine your pet’s mouth, teeth, and gums, and let you know the current status of their oral health. Most pets will require a dental cleaning at least once in their life, depending on how much preventative care you provide.
Once your pet’s mouth has been evaluated, we will provide you with a detailed estimate for the cost of a teeth cleaning, including scaling, polishing, a fluoride treatment, and any extractions as needed. Remember to take advantage of our 15% discount on dental cleanings in February and October!
About Your Pet’s Dental Procedure
Your pet will be dropped off between 8-8:30am the morning of the procedure. If your pet has not had recent bloodwork done, we will perform a basic pre-anesthetic blood panel in-house to ensure your pet is healthy enough for anesthesia. This panel allows us to customize your pet’s anesthesia protocol, and it provides crucial information about any difficulties we should anticipate during the procedure.
Once under anesthesia, we will perform a complete oral exam to identify any problems, such as broken teeth or abscesses. Every tooth will be scaled and polished, and tartar below the gum-line is removed. We can also perform most oral surgeries in-house, including major extractions and full dental radiographs.
We’ll give you a call as soon as your pet is waking up to let you know how the procedure went and to schedule a time that afternoon for you to come back in. A technician will review discharge instructions with you, and every pet is welcome to come back for a complimentary follow-up exam.
A Note on Anesthesia-Free Dental Cleanings
The American Veterinary Dental College and the American Veterinary Medical Association both consider anesthesia-free dental cleaning to be malpractice. This is because the procedure is traumatic and painful for the pet, and it does very little to actually treat periodontal disease. Read more about why these seemingly low-cost, “risk-free” procedures often pose risks that far outweigh any benefits.
If you’ve noticed any of these signs, or if it’s just been a while since your pet’s been to the vet, give us a call at 805-543-0985 to schedule an appointment. You can also use our convenient online form.