Here at East Bend Animal Hospital we are passionate about all aspects of our pet’s health, including their oral health. Just like people, our furry friends often experience dental issues which can progress into dental disease. Oral care at home, and at the veterinary hospital, can both play important roles in keeping our pets healthy.
Both dogs and cats can experience varying degrees of periodontal disease. Indications of a problem may include:
- heavy dental calculus and tartar build-up
- gingivitis (swelling and inflammation at the gum line)
- swelling of the face (often near the eyes and mouth)
- discolored or worn teeth
- blood in the mouth or excessive drooling
- pain or chewing on one side of the mouth
- decreased appetite or weight loss
- odor from the mouth
Prevent Problems With Your Pet’s Oral Health
Ignoring signs of dental disease can lead to serious health problems. Bacteria from the mouth can migrate through the blood stream and cause disease of the heart, liver, and kidney. Osteomyelitis (a bone infection) can develop in rare cases as well as sepsis, hepatic lipidosis, and organ failure.
Believe it or not, dental disease can be prevented for many dogs and cats with a little extra care on their human’s end. Here are some tips that may help prevent dental disease or slow down the progression.
Bring your pet to the veterinarian for annual exams.
During a wellness exam, veterinarians are usually able to evaluate a pet’s mouth. Veterinarians examine their teeth for tartar build-up, gumlines for inflammation, and check for loose, painful, or missing teeth. This is the best way to determine if your pet is experiencing dental issues or if they need a comprehensive oral health plan and treatment under anesthesia
Brush your pet’s teeth.
Daily brushing is the best way to maintain a healthy mouth. There are a variety of pet friendly toothpastes on the market. Pet specific toothpaste works to eliminate bacteria, minimize bad breath, and is safe if swallowed (never use people toothpaste for our furry friends).
Offer dental diets, treats, water additives, and toys.
There are many specially formulated foods, treats, chews, and toys that are made to help reduce tartar build-up in our dogs and cat’s mouths through their chewing motion.
Bring your pet in for a dental cleaning at the first sign of a problem
Dental procedures are imperative to remove any unwanted tartar or to treat any painful or infected teeth; this may include extractions or periodontal treatment. At East Bend Animal Hospital, we strive to make the experience as stress-free as possible. All of our patient’s received pre-anesthetic bloodwork to make sure that we reduce any risks associated with anesthesia. They receive a thorough mouth examination, high-speed scaling, and polishing. All patients are provided with pain medications (while in the hospital and to go home) and receive an essential oil treatment to help with recovery. Patients are also sent home with a detox tincture formulated to help cleanse the body and support healthy liver function after anesthesia as well as aid in removing systemic waste.
Taking steps to increase your pet’s oral health can help your pet live a fuller, happier life.