Dental care and regular oral hygiene is an important part of caring for your pet that often gets overlooked. If you’ve not been paying attention to your dog or cat’s teeth, don’t feel guilty. More than two thirds of all pet owners are in the same boat. However, you should know that taking action now (even if your pet is an adult) can improve their overall health, and even help them live longer.
If you haven’t given a thought to brushing your pet’s teeth or having their teeth professionally cleaned, you aren’t alone. In fact, an estimated 85% of all pets have some level of periodontal disease by the age of three, which could be avoided with better dental care.
Aside from the obvious – a clean mouth smells better – there are several important reasons to have your pet’s teeth checked and cleaned regularly:
Before, During and After
While it is recommended to brush your pet’s teeth daily, we know that may not be realistic for every family. Brushing a few times a week, even once a week is better than not at all.
Even if you don’t brush your pet’s teeth religiously, you should at least check in on their mouth to see what’s going on. If you see a brownish-golden colored buildup on the teeth (tartar), redness along the gumline, or bleeding gums, that may be indicative of dental disease. If you notice any of these signs, please make an appointment with Shackleford Veterinary Clinic (SRVC) as soon as possible. Some other things to watch out for are:
In many ways, a pet dental cleaning is very similar to your own dentist appointment. The teeth, tongue, gums, and general bone structure are inspected and assessed for any problems, and then a thorough teeth cleaning is performed to remove plaque and tartar buildup.
The big difference is, your pet will have to be put under general anesthesia to comfortably and thoroughly clean their teeth. General anesthesia allows the veterinarian to safely and thoroughly remove tartar from the teeth and below the gums without causing the animal undue stress.
Before we proceed with a teeth cleaning, we will do a blood test to be sure there are no underlying issues that would prevent your pet from safely undergoing anesthesia. While your pet is under anesthesia, a flexible, soft plastic tube will be placed in the trachea to not only support your pet’s breathing, but also help prevent them from inhaling the bacteria that will be floating in the air as it is removed from the teeth. Some of the procedures that may be involved in your pet’s dental cleaning procedure may be:
Your pet’s dental health is important to their overall health. During your pet’s routine checkup at our Little Rock animal hospital, we will carefully examine their teeth and gums. Next, we will answer any dental health questions you may have. If your pet requires a cleaning, we will then schedule an appointment to perform the cleaning.
Our experienced veterinarians and vet technicians on staff understand that your pet is more than just an animal that lives with you, they are part of your family. We have been serving the pets and owners of Central Arkansas for over thirty years with quality and comprehensive care, and we are proud to call ourselves “your other family doctor.”
You can request an appointment here, we look forward to serving your family!