Have you ever had your pet breathe on you and you swear something must have died in its mouth?
Bad breath due to dental disease is extremely common, with around 80% of pets having some form of it by the age of four! Bad breath is a common cause for a vet visit, but there are several other signs that may suggest your pet has dental disease. These include:
- Plaque and tartar build-up
- Reddened gums (gingivitis)
- Excessive salivation
- Chattering teeth
- Difficulty chewing
- Refusing to eat
Some affected pets won’t show any symptoms at all, even though they are in great discomfort! We recommend checking your pet’s mouth regularly for any signs of infection or irritation. Simply lift their lip on both sides and examine their teeth and gums. If the teeth are white and gums are pink, your pet’s mouth is healthy. If you see red and swollen gums and/or brown, green or loose teeth, it’s time to bring your pet in for a visit.
Dental disease is particularly common in small dogs and most breeds of cats. It doesn’t just affect your pet’s mouth; it has been associated as a major cause of some heart diseases and linked with liver and kidney problems as well. Due to the high number of animals suffering from dental disease, a lot of research has gone into ways to help reduce the incidence amongst our pets. Proper dental health can add years to your pet’s life and prevents the need for tooth extractions.
how we perform a dental
Many people get very nervous about visiting their own dentist which is why all animal patients are anaesthetised, similar to a surgical procedure. Having the patient anaesthetised not only reduces anxiety for your pet, but enables the vet to perform a thorough examination and clean of your pet’s teeth.
Once your pet is anaesthetised, their mouth is examined for any significant areas of concern. Plaque is then removed using an ultrasonic scaler. The gums are thoroughly examined for signs of inflammation and infection, and the teeth are then polished with pet-friendly toothpaste.
Some animals may be prescribed a short course of antibiotics and anti-inflammatories to take home, depending on the condition of their mouth. If any teeth have been removed, your pet may have some blood coloured saliva for the following 24 hours whilst it all settles down.
how to prevent dental problems
Prevention is always better than treatment, which is why we work closely with you to create an at-home dental hygiene plan. This aims to prevent the need for any serious dental work. We understand every pet is different but we generally recommend the following to maintain good oral health;
- A high-quality dry food diet with NO canned food or dog rolls
- A large, raw, non-fatty bone for chewing once a week or fortnight, depending on your pet’s tolerance
Veterinary care for exotics, dogs & cats in Hervey Bay
Our fear-free approach ensures your pet and you have a stress-free experience with keeping your animals healthy.