When your lovable friend noses in your face, do you smell something unpleasant? Bad breath can be a sign that your overzealous pal may need a dental. Dental disease is a serious problem in pets because they can’t brush their teeth like us with opposable thumbs! Dental disease affects up to 80% of pets over the age of 3! On the good side, it works in stages and if caught early enough, you can make a plan to help your pet save as many of those pearly whites as possible!
Did you know that dogs will have 28 deciduous (baby) teeth and that cats start out with 26 deciduous teeth? By the time they reach 6 months, these baby teeth will fall out and are then replaced by permanent teeth. Once Fido is full grown he will have 42 adult teeth and when Precious is out of her kitten (heathen) stage she will have 30! Don’t be expecting to have the tooth fairy come for those baby teeth though, you may or may not ever find them. Sometimes pets will even swallow them, don’t worry if they do though. You should worry though if they don’t lose them because they can cause problems such as increased tartar, bad bite, and gum irritation. They can be easily removed though while you are having your pet spayed/neutered (You are doing that right? Good for you!).
Signs that your pet may need a dental:
- Bad breath
- Inflamed gums
- Missing/broken teeth
- Cats may exhibit increased drooling
- Loss of appetite
- No longer chewing on toys/your favorite sneakers
- “Chattering” of the teeth when trying to eat
- Bleeding gums
- Eroded teeth
- Cats may even stop grooming themselves
Dental problems may lead to other issues such as:
- Heart problems
- Kidney problems
- Intestinal tract upset
- Joint swelling
Don’t be worried about your pet’s dental, they will be just fine! It’s just like you having your teeth cleaned and examined, but they have the luxury of having it done while they sleep! Since your pet will be under anesthesia, please fast them the night before the procedure. While they are under anesthesia, our trained technicians will remove tarter build up, check for cavities, gum pockets, loose teeth, any growths, remove bad teeth, and then polish the teeth. The polishing is very important because it smooths the surfaces of the teeth. A smooth tooth won’t have spots for the tarter. After care is easy, we often put our patients on antibiotics, depending of the severity of dental disease. We also recommend brushing your dog’s teeth on a regular basis.
Please give us a call to schedule either an exam or a dental cleaning today!
(NOTE: do not use human toothpaste on your pet!)