Dental care is a very important aspect of looking after our animals, but it remains something that is often overlooked. Your pet relies on their teeth just as much we do – not just for eating, but also for picking up and holding objects and for defense should they ever feel threatened. Nevertheless, when your pet experiences a problem with their teeth, there is a good chance that you won’t even realize for some time. Animals are notoriously good at masking pain, and even if your furbaby is in considerable discomfort, they will continue to eat and function fairly normally.
Unfortunately, if dental problems are left untreated, they can have a considerable impact on your pet. Bad breath, infection and tooth loss are just some of the issues that can arise. Many animals go on to develop the periodontal disease – an inflammatory condition that occurs when the gums become infected by bacteria – and studies have shown that pets with periodontal disease are more likely to also suffer from other chronic health conditions such as diabetes, heart disease and even some forms of cancer.
Taking care of your pet’s teeth is essential. Fortunately, there are various ways in which you can do this.
Brushing Your Pet’s Teeth
Believe it or not, brushing your pet’s teeth really is the best way to keep them healthy and in great condition. This is because it is effective at removing plaque and tartar. You can buy special toothbrushes and kinds of toothpaste for the job – never use human toothpaste as it contains ingredients which are toxic to animals. Our veterinary team will be happy to show you the best techniques for brushing your pet’s teeth and you will almost certainly find that your furbaby gets used to it fairly quickly. Some really enjoy the time they spend having their teeth cleaned.
You have probably come across dental chews in pet and grocery stores. These are special snacks that are designed specifically with your pet’s oral health in mind and contain ingredients that promote healthy teeth. They are also abrasive so that when your pet chews them, they act like a toothbrush and scrub some plaque, food residue and bacteria away.
Regular Dental Check-Ups
These appointments are not dissimilar to your own dental check-ups and give our experienced and knowledgeable team time to assess your pet’s oral health. We may make recommendations about things that you could be doing differently to improve your pet’s dental health, and we can spot any developing problems early before they can do significant damage to your pet’s teeth and overall oral wellbeing. We can also undertake a professional dental clean whereby your pet’s teeth are cleaned to our exacting standards in an oral surgery situation.
Oral Surgery for Pets
If your pet requires dental treatment or a professional clean, this will be performed as oral surgery. The reason for this is that it is much safer and less stressful for your pet to be asleep for the duration of the process. Dental treatments require small, sharp instruments and expert precision and care. Since even the best-behaved animal doesn’t understand the importance of remaining completely still, it is far safer for your pet, and for our team, if they are unconscious before we carry out any work.
Rest assured that your furbaby will be very carefully monitored for the duration of the time that they are under the effects of general anesthetic to ensure that they are safe and comfortable throughout. Once the treatment is complete, the anesthetic will be withdrawn and within a few hours, the effects should have completely worn off.
If you are concerned about the health of your pet’s teeth and would like more information about any aspect of pet dental care or oral surgery, please get in touch with us by calling Country Doctor Veterinary Clinic in Jefferson, OH today.