Oral care is just as important for dogs and cats as it is for humans. However, most people do not brush their cat’s or dog’s teeth twice a day, so other methods are required to keep their mouth’s healthy.
Tatar, calculus build up and gingivitis can cause systemic problems for the dog or cat. This is because bacteria in inflamed gums can travel down the blood stream and lodge in other organs, such as liver, kidneys or heart. This is in addition to the foul smell, taste and pain that dental disease can cause.
Four out of five dogs and cats over the age of three years have dental disease, which increases in severity with age. This can be a big problem for many pets and owners and can lead to more serious illnesses relating to the heart, liver and kidneys. Regular dental checks are needed to ensure good dental health. Dental disease causes severe pain and infection which can extend into the bones of the jaw.
Dogs and cats will sometimes also develop other tooth problems, such as fractured teeth which may require extractions. At Keysborough Vet Practice we can perform a variety of dental procedures as needed.
Many dogs and cats will require a dental scale and polish under anaesthetic at some point in their lives if calculus build up occurs. This is a day procedure with your pet going home that night. This is done with an ultrasonic scaler, and a pet must be anaesthetised to use this instrument.
Preventative dental health options include:
- Brushing your pet’s teeth twice a day with pet toothpaste (some pets will not tolerate this!)
- Prescription formulated dental diets
- Regular dental chews or appropriate raw bones
- Scale and polish under anaesthetic.
Dogs and cats should have their teeth checked every year as part of their annual wellness exam, and appropriate prevention can be determined.
Our image on the right is an example of a patient’s teeth before and after his dental scale and polish.