Our pets get dental disease just like we do, but more often than not, there are no obvious signs. Even dogs and cats with severe dental disease will often continue to eat normally and do not seem to be in pain. But we know that dental issues do cause pain, it’s pet’s instinct to hide it. Many clients report that their dog or cat seem much more active and happy after having dental disease addressed.
Things to look for:
- Bad breath
- Tartar on the teeth, especially the back teeth
- Chewing mostly on one side of the mouth
- Dropping food while chewing
*Remember, these signs are not always present, even when there is bad disease.
It’s a good idea to have your vet check your dog or cat’s teeth at least once a year. Based on their exam, they will let you know whether it is time for a cleaning or not. Getting rid of plaque and tartar early can help prevent deeper disease.
Things you can do at home to keep their teeth and gums healthy:
- Brush with enzymatic toothpaste every day
- Give your dog chews or your cat Greenies a few times a week (careful that your dog does not swallow big pieces!)
- Water additives
*Brushing is a preventive measure and is effective once the teeth are clean. Starting to brush in a dog or cat that already has dental disease can cause pain and will not remove the plaque that has built up on the teeth.
Typically, cleanings are done under anesthesia so that the tartar below the gumline can safely be removed and x-rays can be taken to look for disease at the roots of the teeth. This type of cleaning is needed if there are any broken or loose teeth, or roots exposed.
There is also the option of non-anesthetic teeth cleanings. This should be done by an experienced technician and overseen by a veterinarian to ensure there is no harm being done to your pet’s teeth and gums. It is not a replacement to the anesthetic cleanings, but something you can have done every 6-12 months to prolong the time between anesthetic cleanings. The cost for these anesthesia-free cleanings is significantly less than full anesthetic cleanings.
The best thing you can do for your pet is have them checked regularly by your vet, use preventive home dental care, and consider anesthesia-free cleanings inbetween full dental cleanings.
As a mobile vet service in Denver, we offer in-home physical exams and wellness care. We come to you, no traffic jams or waiting rooms. Easy for you, easy for your pet!