Our pets are family members, which means taking special care of their health needs. Dental care is critical for dog health and cat health, as poor maintenance leads to short and long-term problems for pets and those who love them.
Dental Disease in Pets
Dental disease is common in pets. Most cats and dogs experience it by age three. You should ask for dental checkups as part of your pet’s yearly vet visits to catch problems early. Dental disease can lead to serious long-term health problems and escalating bills without proper treatment.
If tartar, plaque, and bacteria build-up, they can get into your pet’s gums. You may notice that they become lethargic or show less interest in food. Many of our pets are good at hiding their distress, making it difficult to know that dental disease is the source of their pain and discomfort.
While some people think X-rays are unnecessary, they can save you a lot of money down the road. Even when pets had healthy-looking teeth, vets caught diseased teeth in almost 28% of dogs and 42% of cats following x-rays. For teeth that looked bad, those numbers jumped to at least 50% for cats and dogs.
The first steps to good dental health for your pets happen at home. Brushing their teeth daily can help prevent dental disease and costly future problems. That is easier said than done for some pets. If you can’t brush your pet’s teeth, ask us about other products that help with good oral health. Be careful with products such as bones that can cause damage.
Don’t let a fear of anesthesia stop you from getting dental care for your pets. Anesthesia is necessary because pets don’t understand what is happening and can react by thrashing and biting. Our experienced team knows how to safely anesthetize your pet and monitor them during treatment to ensure that all goes well.
Pet Dental Problem Symptoms
You should have us check your pet’s dental health at least once a year. If you notice any of the following symptoms, schedule an appointment sooner so we can try to head off more significant issues. Each day, keep an eye out for the following:
- Loose or broken teeth
- Bad breath
- Discolored teeth or teeth with thick tartar
- Changes in eating habits
- Pain when you touch your pet’s mouth area
- Bleeding from the mouth
- Swelling around the mouth
- Excessive drooling, abnormal chewing, or dropping food
If you notice these symptoms, contact us as quickly as possible. These are problems that will only clear up on their own. As with people, the longer you take to address your pet’s dental needs, the more pain they will experience, and the more likely they will develop severe health conditions that will be much harder to address.
Get Loving Care For Your Pet Today
Get compassionate, professional care for your pet from the award-winning veterinarians at Live Oak Animal Hospital. We offer two convenient locations and are ready to take care of your pet’s regular checkups and help with any special needs, such as dental care. We are locally owned, and to us, that means your pets are part of our family too.