By Elva Ma, DVM
February is National Pet Dental Health Month, so I would like to take this opportunity to write about the importance of dental health in our pets.
While we may see our pet's bad breath as only an annoyance, it can indicate a serious health concern, such as infection and pain, and may eventually lead to damage to the major organs, including the liver or heart. Some studies suggest that maintaining oral health can add up to 5 years to a pet's life!
Warning signs of dental disease include:
There are several things that we as pet parents can do to prevent and reduce dental disease:
Eventually, your pet may end up needing a thorough dental cleaning under anesthesia. We will start by making sure your pet is a safe candidate for general anesthesia by performing a thorough physical exam and checking blood work to assess the health of the major organs. On the day of the dental procedure, our registered veterinary technician (RVT) will use instruments to scale and polish your pet's teeth while they are sleeping, removing tartar and plaque that could otherwise lead to dental problems. In case of loose teeth, fractured teeth, gum attachment loss, or tooth root abscesses, tooth extraction may be required. If so, healing time is usually 10-14 days. It is amazing to see how much better pets feel after their problematic teeth are taken care of – I often hear parents saying their pets are acting like puppies or kittens again!
Before and after photos from a dental procedure in one of our patients - squeaky clean!
While February is considered the official Pet Dental Month, our clinic offers monetary incentives year-round for any pet that requires dental work, including:
Please give us a shout if you'd like to take advantage of these services! And if you have any questions about your pet's dental health, we are only a phone call, text or email away!
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