Dental Care for Your Pet
Just like humans, your pet needs regular dental care. When we don’t care for our teeth, it results in bacterial build-up, painful cavities, and can negatively affect overall health. The same is true for our pets. Poor oral health can lead to serious infection and illness that can cause lasting damage to your pet’s heart, lungs, liver or kidneys. Unfortunately, we can’t always tell when our pets are hurting, so regular dental cleanings at home and at the vet are key.
Signs of Dental Issues
Dogs are often associated with bad breath, but this is often one of the early warning signs of dental disease. With any pet, it’s important to look out for any visible plaque, or discoloration of the gums. Missing teeth and bleeding are major red flags, and require veterinary attention. Lack of appetite or refusal to drink can also be symptoms of oral or dental conditions. Affordable Animal Hospital of Covina can evaluate your pet’s oral health and determine the best course of action.
How do I take care of my pet's teeth?
Just like humans, pets require frequent brushing and regular cleanings for their teeth. Toys and bones are just not enough to maintain healthy oral hygiene. Whether pet brushes or soft bristled children’s toothbrushes, there are products available to care for your pet’s daily oral health. Affordable Animal Hospital of Covina is there, just like your dentist, to provide the deep, thorough cleanings that are key to your pet’s health. We will work with you to provide education on your pet’s oral health and to choose an in-home dental health procedure that works for you and your pet. Call us to schedule an appointment so your cat or dog maintains healthy teeth and gums for a longer life.
Our Cleaning Services
The pet teeth cleaning services that Affordable Animal Hospital of Covina provides can make a long-term difference in your pet’s health. You wouldn’t go for years (or your whole life) without having your teeth cleaned and there’s no reason to think this would be any better for your pet than it is for you.
Cleaning has a purpose beyond getting rid of plaque and tartar. It also enables the veterinarian to find out what’s going on in your pet’s mouth, including problems that are not visible to the naked eye.
Use of Anesthetic
The use of general anesthetic ensures that your pet does not experience stress or pain during cleaning. A tube in its throat will keep breathing comfortable and prevent the inhalation of bacteria released from under the gums.
What Does the Veterinarian do?
First, visible tartar and plaque will be removed, including accumulations under the gums. The teeth will be probed for signs of decay or disease.
Rough surfaces may be polished lightly to reduce opportunities for accumulation of bacteria. As another protective action, a dental sealer may be applied. X-rays will be taken to look for problems below the gum line.
If it a tooth is discovered that needs to be extracted immediately, this will be done. The mouth, tongue and lip are inspected.
A dental chart is created to record the findings of the examination and to guide future care.
Maintaining Oral Health
You don’t’ stop caring for your teeth after you leave the dentist. You can’t expect your pet’s mouth to stay trouble-free without routine care.
This can include:
- • Brushing daily with a child’s toothbrush or finger brush
- • Using antibacterial oral rinses or sprays
- • Feeding your pet food and treats designed to prevent plaque formation.
The experts at Affordable Animal Hospital of Covina can answer any questions you may have about these practices and direct you to sources of the products you may need, including such options as seafood flavored toothpaste.
A Job for Professionals
It’s not easy to extract a tooth from the mouth of a cat or dog. Their teeth have roots that go deep into surrounding bone.
Before the extraction begins, your pet will receive general anesthetic. After an extraction is complete, the space from which it was removed is surgically closed. This lessens pain for your pet and can also speed the healing process.
Getting Back to Normal
Following an extraction, your pet should be able to eat as it normally does. The mechanics of eating utilized by carnivores such as cats and dogs do not really include chewing, and thus it is not likely that great pressure will be placed on the gums.