Your Pet’s Dental Care
Unlike humans, dogs and cats cannot brush their teeth on a daily basis, and it can be trying for pet owners to do this for them. Some groomers will provide a “dental service” for clients by brushing the pet’s teeth. This is not the same as the comprehensive dental cleaning your pet receives at Shaker Heights Animal Hospital. With regular dental cleanings you can keep your pet’s mouth happy and healthy.
Dental disease can present in many ways, including:
- Persistent bad breath
- Tarter and plaque buildup on the teeth and gum line
- Red and swollen gums leading to loss of teeth
- Tooth loss
- Pain or bleeding from the gums when your pet eats
- Pawing at the mouth
- Decreased appetite
- Difficulty eating
- Fractured teeth from eating hard treats
- Cavity-like holes in the teeth
If you notice any of these symptoms, call and schedule an appointment right away. When your pet visits us at Shaker Heights Animal Hospital for their annual examination, our veterinarians will perform a dental examination checking the teeth for any of the above symptoms. It is estimated that more than 80% of dogs and 70% of cats develop tooth and gum disease by age three.
If left untreated dental disease can not only be uncomfortable for your pet – it can shorten your pet’s life. Millions of bacteria live under the plaque and tarter buildup we see on the teeth. If this bacteria enters the bloodstream it can damage the kidneys, heart and liver. With regular dental cleanings we can minimize the chances of such damage occurring.
At Shaker Heights Animal Hospital we believe good dental health begins with a complete oral examination and a thorough dental cleaning. Dental X-Rays are provided with dental cleanings for a more thorough examination. An ultrasonic scaler is used to clean the teeth by removing the plaque and tarter that has built up on your pet’s teeth. Once all the plaque and tarter is removed, the teeth are polished to smooth out any rough surfaces and a fluoride treatment is applied.
During your pet’s dental cleaning, our veterinarian will thoroughly examine the teeth and the gum line looking for any type of periodontal disease, broken or damaged teeth or pockets along the gum line where teeth have separated from the gums, allowing food and bacteria to enter causing infection. If our veterinarian finds any damaged teeth, we will contact you to discuss extractions and treatment options.
Anesthesia is necessary during your pet’s dental appointment to allow thorough oral examination, cleaning and treatment of abnormal teeth or gums. It also relieves your pet of any stress they would other feel during examination and treatment.
Prior to administering anesthesia, our veterinarian will perform an examination to ensure your pet is healthy enough for the procedure and perform blood work to check organ function, focusing on the liver and kidneys. An IV catheter will be placed for the induction of any medications needed during the procedure and a trained technician will monitor and record your pet’s vitals during the entire procedure.
At Home Dental Care
While we understand it can be hard to brush your pet’s teeth, the dental health of your pet is very important. Plaque and tarter build up over time and if the amount of that build up can be reduced, it will help keep your pet healthy. The staff at Shaker Heights Animal Hospital can show you the proper way to care for your pet’s teeth and help you select the needed dental products.