Dental Care For Dogs And Cats
According to the American Veterinary Medical Association, about 80% of dogs and 70% of cats show signs of dental disease by their 3rd birthday.
Plaque, tartar and bacteria in the mouth may lead to periodontal disease which can spread through the bloodstream to the heart, liver and kidneys and shorten your pet's life.
Periodontal disease increases the risk for other, more serious health conditions. Because of this, daily home care in conjunction with annual veterinary dental exams and dental cleanings as needed are essential. In fact, studies indicate that daily home brushing and regular dental care may add as much as five years to your pet's life!
Your pet's overall wellness depends on good oral health. The following factors can contribute to dental disease in your dog or cat:
Dental disease becomes more common as your pet gets older. Without proper care, dental disease can pose a problem. If nothing is done to care for your pet's mouth, periodontal disease can progress and your pet may even lose teeth. Dental disease can be painful, causing your pet to avoid or have difficulty eating meals. This may result in weight loss and an unkempt hair coat.
Some breeds have a predisposition to periodontal disease. This can occur for several reasons. Dog's with short faces like the Pug, Shih-tzu, Lhasa Apso, French Bulldog, and their mixes have teeth that are overcrowded making it more difficult to keep teeth and gums clean. Toy breed dogs have a tendency to develop periodontal disease at an earlier age. Many purebred cats are also predisposed to worse dental disease, especially Siamese, Abyssinians and Persians.
Poor nutrition can contribute to the development and progression of periodontal disease. Feeding a premium, well balanced diet for your pet's life stage is paramount to maintaining your pet's overall health.
Routine dental home care can significantly slow the progression of periodontal disease. Dental home care is recommended at least 4-5 times weekly. While brushing is best, enzymatic oral rinses and chews can all be part of a proper dental home care routine.
Uh-oh - There's tartar on my pet's teeth!
If you notice your pet has bad breath, tartar build up or other oral concerns, call the office to schedule an appointment for one of our veterinarians to examine your pet. They can determine if a dental cleaning is in your pet's best interest. During a dental cleaning, your pet will be placed under general anesthesia to allow for airway protection, complete oral examination, full mouth dental radiographs to evaluate the health of the teeth under the gum line and hand/ultrasonic scaling of the tooth surfaces and beneath the gum line. After a thorough dental cleaning, routine dental home care is recommended at least 4-5 times weekly.
If your dog or cat is due for a dental cleaning, make an appointment with one of our caring veterinarians and vet tech staff by calling us at 281-292-4700, or by clicking on the button below.