Dental care is vital to the overall health of any pet. Dental disease can lead to health issues with the heart, liver, and kidneys and has the potential to seep into your pet’s bloodstream. In fact, 80 percent of dogs and 70 percent of cats over three years of age suffer from some form of dental disease, making it the most common pet health issue among our pet population.
Why Is Pet Dental Care So Important?
Good dental health for pets begins with excellent dental care from an animal hospital. While teeth cleaning for pets is certainly an important element of proper dental care, it is only part of the reason dental care for pets is so important. Some of the other reasons include the following:
- Improves heart health.
- Early detection of oral cancers.
- Prevent tooth loss (which can lead to malnourishment).
- Early detection of gum disease.
- Spare your pet unnecessary pain from oral infections.
The bottom line is this: good dental care for your pets can increase the length of their lives and the quality of their lives during that time.
What to Expect during Dental Care Visits
For the most part, pet dental care visits are low-stress visits for pets. At our animal hospital, we’ll discuss your pet’s medical history and collect a blood sample. We will also discuss our methods for cleaning your pet’s teeth. This includes using mild anesthesia for the procedure. While your pet is asleep, we will do the following:
- Take x-rays.
- Perform a visual inspection of the teeth and gums.
- Clean your pet’s teeth, including removing plaque and tartar buildup.
- Look for signs of infection and/or disease.
The fact that pets are asleep during the procedure reduces any stress, anxiety, or discomfort they may otherwise experience. This creates a stress-free experience for most pets (and their owners).
Depending on how the visit went and what we discovered during the process, you may be sent home with certain medications, treatments, etc. for your pet. This will help you take an active role in preventing future dental problems or helping to correct existing problems we discovered during the treatment.
If you haven’t taken your pet for routine dental care throughout his life, you might want to bring him in for a checkup if you notice any of these symptoms:
- Bad breath
- Abnormal drooling
- Swollen gums
- Difficulty eating
- Tooth discolorations (particularly brown or yellow)
- Blood-tinged saliva
Some behavioral changes may also indicate your pet needs dental care, such as refusing to eat crunchy foods, losing interest in chewy toys, and other behaviors that may indicate pain.
If your pet is showing signs of a possible dental infection, or if you simply wish to schedule a preventative dental treatment, contact us at Quartz Hill Veterinary Clinic in Quartz Hill today.