Dental Care Tips
by NW Vet Staff
February is pet dental month and it is important to take this time to educate yourself on how to care for your pet’s dental health. According to the AVMA, most dogs and cats show evidence of periodontal disease by age 3. There are a few ways that you can care for your pet’s teeth at home to prevent the progression of dental health issues:
- Brushing: Brushing your pet’s teeth regularly with special pet toothpaste and brush.
- Dental Treats: Your veterinarian can recommend a great dental health treat for your pet.
- Water Additives: Add some dental water drops to your pet’s water dish.
- Food: Crunchy dry food can help to prevent the build-up of tartar.
Your pet should have an oral exam at the time of their yearly check-up and vaccines. Your veterinarian will check your pet’s teeth, note any changes from previous exams and catch any early signs of oral issues. You should bring your pet to see the vet earlier if you notice any symptoms that could be an indication of periodontal disease, a serious infection, abscess, or root/jaw damage:
- Bad Breath
- Broken or loose tooth
- Extra teeth (Retained baby teeth)
- Tartar or discoloration
- Abnormal chewing, drooling
- Reduced appetite or refusal to eat
- Pain, bleeding, or swelling in areas surrounding the mouth
- Changes in behavior
Dental health issues effect more than just your pet’s mouth. If left untreated, periodontal disease and infections can cause serious damage to their heart, liver, and kidneys. It is important to speak with your veterinarian about when your pet may need a dental cleaning.
Most of dental disease occurs under the gum line and dental cleanings require anesthesia to allow for a thorough oral exam, cleaning, polishing and extractions if needed. Our anesthesia procedures are tailored specifically to your pet’s health and our dental assistants monitor heart rate and blood pressure every 5 minutes during the procedure.
If you have any questions or want to learn more about dental cleanings, call to speak to a member of our care team. Northwest Veterinary Associates are offering discounted dental cleanings and procedures during the month of February and March. Call to schedule your pet’s appointment today.
Visit the link to view the American Animal Hospital Associations website for thier care recommendations and remember to contact us with any needs.