Dental disease in our pets

Most people are very aware of their own oral health and visit their dentist regularly. Despite this, many pet owners do not realize their animals are potentially subject to a number of dental problems. We have chosen to focus on information about dental health during the month of February, which is traditionally dental health awareness month. Please check out our new information board in reception and watch this website and our Facebook page for regular dental health information. Of course, our team considers dental health during each and every visit that your pet makes to the clinic.

The most common disease in pet animals is periodontal disease. According to the American Veterinary Dental Society (AVDS), eighty percent of dogs and seventy percent of cats have periodontal disease by the age of three. This is an alarming statistic, especially with the note that it is known that proper dental care could increase their life by two to five years.  Dogs and cats are also subject to broken teeth, orthodontic problems and even lesions akin to human cavities. All of these problems will obviously affect your animal’s mouth, but can also lead to chronic pain or infections that then have the potential to introduce bacteria into other parts of the body. In other words, bad teeth can lead to a sick animal. Evidence continues to mount that chronic infection or inflammation in any part of the body can have serious negative impact on systemic health, contributing to problems such as heart disease and kidney disease.

The first step in caring for your pet’s teeth is to look in your pet’s mouth on a regular basis. If the gums appear red or inflamed, if there is a smell, if you see broken teeth or pus in the mouth, we would recommend that you call us right away to schedule an exam. Our veterinarians will assess the problem and formulate a plan, which may include a proper dental assessment and treatment by our team. This is an outpatient procedure done under general anesthesia which includes a thorough oral exam and dental charting, ultrasonic scaling, polishing and fluoride treatment.

You can help prevent dental disease with routine brushing, dental chews, or by using a variety of other available dental products. We will highlight some of our favourite products during the month. However, it is inevitable that every pet will at some point begin to accumulate tartar and bacteria in the mouth. Please call the clinic if you have any questions about your pet’s oral health.