One of the most common and, unfortunately, overlooked health challenges that pets may experience is poor oral hygiene. When poor oral hygiene is left untreated for a period of time, this can lead to periodontal diseases such as gingivitis, heavy plaque buildup, tartar, decalcification, inflammation of gums and tooth sockets, decaying gums and loss of teeth. These preventable diseases and challenges are incredibly painful and miserable for your pet, and can even lead to other life-threatening illnesses.
Periodontal diseases have a severe impact on other organs of the body. The toxins from periodontal diseases are absorbed into the bloodstream and circulated to major organs. Those toxins cause infections in vital organs such as the kidneys, liver, brain, and heart. Once an infection is present in organ tissue, it can wreak havoc on that organ, causing significant and permanent damage. If left untreated, the internal infection can reduce the life span of your pet as a result of fatal organ damage.
The most efficient way to prevent your pet from suffering is to avoid periodontal disease in the first place with good dental habits. You can do this by brushing your pet’s teeth once a week, getting annual oral examinations, and scheduling safe, effective annual dental cleanings here at The Animal Doctor.
What you can do for your pet’s oral health
You should start brushing your pet’s teeth while they are still very young so that they become accustomed to the process, just like bathing and grooming. It is acceptable to brush your pet’s teeth once a week. Choose a time when your pet has had a lot of exercise and is more willing to sit still throughout the procedure.
Don’t overdo it the first few times. Start slowly and quit if your pet gets anxious. Increase your efforts every day until your pet is accustomed to it. We suggest a double-headed canine brush at a 45-degree angle to clean below the gum line.
DO NOT USE REGULAR HUMAN TOOTHPASTE for your pet. Fluoride is extremely poisonous to dogs. You can find toothpaste made just for your pet at our office.
For many pets we also strongly suggest that you feed your pet dry food instead of wet food for your pet’s overall dental health. Crunchy dry food is better for their teeth and less likely to cause tooth decay.
Routine Oral Examinations at The Animal Doctor
You can bring your pet in for an annual checkup for shots, routine tests, and oral examinations all in one appointment. We will inspect the patient for plaque and tartar buildup and address ways to improve your pet’s dental health. This might include scheduling a dental cleaning to prevent further issues from arising.
A dental cleaning should be a routine procedure performed by your veterinarian at least once a year to remove plaque and tartar from the patient’s teeth. We strive to make the experience as safe and comfortable as possible for your pet. We use general anesthesia and anesthesia monitoring so that your pet experiences no stress or pain during the cleaning. We remove plaque and tartar while the patient is asleep, and carefully monitor them during their anesthesia recovery.
You can schedule a routine oral exam or dental cleaning at each of our locations with any of our friendly, caring staff members. We dedicate ourselves to helping you keep your little friend comfortable, healthy, and a part of your life for a long time.