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This little beauty is named Bliss, how perfect is that?!! She was out in our yard for a little fresh air and looked so pretty we had to snap a photo :) ...

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Animal Dentistry

 

A healthy mouth is a very important part of your pets overall well being and health.  The following are common question regarding oral health.  We have provided some interesting links at the end of the page for further information.

 

imagesWhy should I brush my dog's or cat's teeth?

Daily removal of plaque is the key to an oral hygiene program. Unless your pet's teeth are brushed daily, plaque, which is the accumulation of bacteria, will build up at the gum-line. Eventually calculus (tartar) forms, further irritating the gums, and then infection begins to loosen and destroy the attachment of the tooth. In addition to loose teeth, infection under the gum line can spread to the liver, kidney's and heart.

 

How can I brush my pet's teeth?

imagesWith a bit of practice and patience, brushing can easily be accomplished. First pick a soft-bristled or finger toothbrush. Next, get toothpaste from your veterinarian. (If your pet has a certain food allergy like chicken, make sure you don't use that flavor). Do not use human toothpaste because it has detergents and fluoride that should not be swallowed. Start by having your pet lick the flavoured tooth paste off your finger. Then slowly work up to rubbing the teeth with the toothpaste and your finger or a fingerbrush. Eventually your pet will tolerate a toothbrush. Remember to give your pet lots of tasty treats as a reward for being compliant. This will make the process easier and eventually make it an enjoyable experience for both of you.

 

How often should my pet have a dental prophylaxis at the veterinary hospital?

It depends on the degree of plaque and calculus accumulation. Examine your pet's teeth monthly. Look for accumulation of yellow or brown material at the area where the tooth meets the gum-line especially over the cheek teeth and canines.

Attached to the calculus are bacteria, which irritate the gum tissues and causes inflammation (gingivitis). When treated, the inflammation will resolve. When gingivitis is left untreated, it will progress to periodontitis, which is non-curable. It is best to imageshave the dental prophylaxis done as soon as you can, to avoid additional damage.

Once you notice plaque or calculus, make an appointment with your veterinarian and she can set your pet up for a professional cleaning.

The intervals between teeth cleaning procedures will depend on a few things, like how often you can brush your pet's teeth, your pet's age and breed. On your pet's annual exam, your veterinarian will be able to tell you if a dental prophylaxis is needed.

Can I just take my fingernail or a dental scaler to remove the calculus?

Dental disease occurs below the gum-line. By removing calculus from the tooth, you are not removing the disease below the gum-line. In order to thoroughly help your cat or dog, plaque and calculus must be removed from below the gum-line.

 

imagesIs it necessary to use anaesthesia to clean my pet's teeth?

Anaesthesia is necessary when performing teeth cleaning. Anaesthesia provides three important functions: immobilization in order to clean below the gum-line, gives pain control to your pet, and gives the ability to place a tube down the windpipe, so bacterial products do not enter the respiratory system and cause additional harm.

I am concerned about the anaesthesia. Is it safe?

Every effort is taken to provide safe anaesthesia. Dogs and cats are given pre-anaesthetic blood panel to test organ function and have had an exam with the veterinarian to qualify them for anaesthesia. Patients are monitored by our qualified technicians while under anaesthetic both visibly and with similar monitoring devices as used in human hospitals.

What is involved in the teeth cleaning?

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After Doc’s Dental Cleaning

 

Each Oral Assessment, Treatment, and Prevention visit has 14 different steps:

  1. Pre-anaesthetic blood panel to check organ function
  2. Pre-anaesthetic exam before anaesthesia
  3. An oral exam under anaesthetic
  4. Full mouth dental radiographs
  5. Dental charting to create a treatment plan
  6. Scaling of the tooth’s surface
  7. Subgingival (below the gum-line), root planing and curettage
  8. Polishing of the tooth's
  9. Oral irrigation
  10. Application of an oral antiseptic
  11. Post cleaning oral exam
  12. Therapy like extractions or surgery etc, if required
  13. Home care instructions and medications
  14. Complimentary follow up appointment if extractions have been done

How much does the tooth cleaning procedure cost?

It is not possible to determine what the procedure will cost because we do not know the status of your pet's teeth and gums. imagesFee's for the dental cleaning are standard, however, the extractions/surgery costs are based on the length of the procedure and medications depend on the specific case. If your pet has not had a recent exam, your veterinarian will need to examine your pet to make sure that your pet is healthy enough to undergo an anaesthetic procedure and will make an estimate for you based on the treatments that need to be done.

Is there food that can help with dental disease?

There are special diets formulated to help control plaque and tartar. Medi-Cal/Royal Canin Dental Diet and Hills T/D combine a specific kibble size and tartar reducing ingredients to provide double action dental care against the formation of dental plaque and tartar. When used with brushing, the amount of dental prophylaxis' needed can be reduced.

What toys should I avoid to protect my pet's teeth?

Chewing on objects harder than teeth may lead to dental fractures. Be especially careful with cow and horse hooves, as well as rocks. Tennis balls can also be abrasive. Tug-of-war can cause sometimes growing teeth to move to abnormal locations and throwing dog disks could increase the chance of trauma to the teeth.

imagesWhat are Feline Orthodontic Resorptive Lesions?

Many cats get painful lesions at the gum-line that invade the teeth. Unfortunately we do not know what causes this and generally the affected tooth will need to be extracted. The doctor can often tell if your cat has an advanced resorptive lesion during an exam by pressing on the gum-line. If the painful lesion is noted, your cat will chatter its jaw. We also often find them while the cat is under anaesthetic and the teeth have been cleaned.

How can I tell if my pet is suffering from periodontal disease?

One of the signs is halitosis (bad breath). Dogs and cats should not have disagreeable mouth odour. Bad breath comes from infection. If you notice this, have your veterinarian examine your pet's mouth and advise care.  Other signs may be difficulty chewing and excessive drooling.

What type of tests are done to diagnose dental disease?

After your veterinarian has performed an exam and decided that a dental prophylaxis is warranted, an oral exam is performed once the pet is under anaesthetic. This way we can safely probe around the tooth to evaluate bone loss around each tooth. X-rays will be taken to evaluate if the teeth can be saved, or need to be extracted.

When do I need to start doing dental care on my pet?

It is recommended to start brushing your cats or dogs teeth right away. Whether you start when they're puppies or kittens, or imageswhen they're seniors, it will take time to get your pet used to brushing. Now's a good time to start! Ask the team at our veterinary hospital about brushing. We have lots of informational sheets and can walk you through how to start and get your pet comfortable with the procedure so it can continue for life.

What can be done if my pet has periodontal disease?

Periodontal disease occurs when tooth support structures are affected by infection. The disease is under the gum-line, so in the beginning stages, cleaning below the gum-line and removing plaque and tartar from above the gum-line will help restore the periodontal health. In advanced cases, either periodontal surgery or extractions are performed.

imagesWhich animals are more at risk for periodontal disease?

Periodontal disease affects approximately 95% of dogs and 70% of cats over 5 years of age. Some individual cats and dogs are genetically predisposed to develop dental disease at a younger age or experience more severe periodontal disease. Smaller breeds are more prone than larger breeds because their teeth are closer together.

My pets’ teeth look bad, but he's still eating fine. How could he be painful?

You may have noticed by now that pets can be quite stoic. This is instinctual, as to show pain is to show weakness, and in the animal kingdom you don’t show weakness. By the time your pet stops eating, the pain he’s experiencing is likely very severe.

 

For more information see these links:

How to train your pet to let you brush his/her teeth:  RVT Anila Rondeau

Part 1:  https://www.facebook.com/214294845297684/videos/955264311200730/

Part 2:  https://www.facebook.com/214294845297684/videos/955272321199929/

Part 3:  https://www.facebook.com/214294845297684/videos/955272927866535/

If you have any questions, or would like to book an appointment, please call 250-926-0006, or book online