Oral hygiene in Pets Can Save Their Life

You probably try to get to the dentist at least once a year, right? What if we told you that your trusty old lab or cuddly tomcat needed the same kind of dental care? It’s true! Dental care is extremely important to your pet’s overall health and welfare. Dental problems can lead to excruciating pain, discomfort and a poor quality of life. At Bees Ferry Veterinary Hospital, we aim to check out your pet’s teeth at every annual visit. This will include a simple oral exam, where your veterinarian will observe your pet’s mouth for any signs of disease of damage. We will recommend any at-home care techniques or further dental care if needed. Good dental practices can add 2-4 years to your pet’s life!

What Should You Look Out For?

If you are able to get a good look inside your pet’s mouth, check for any of these symptoms:

  • Broken or loose teeth

  • Extra teeth

  • Bleeding

  • Swelling around the teeth

  • Discolored teeth or teeth that are covered in tartar.

If you aren’t able to look into their mouth, there are other signs to watch for:

  • Bad breath

  • Drooling

  • Reduced appetite or refusal to eat

  • Change in overall behavior (Bad moods, lethargy)

If you notice any of these signs, give us a call. If your pet needs dental work, we will walk you through what to expect. In general, when your pet needs a “dental”, it means we will sedate them and perform a thorough cleaning, scaling and take dental x-rays. If needed, we will remove badly diseased or broken teeth.

Can I Do Anything to Prevent Dental Disease?

While some dogs are more prone to dental problems due to breed, age and lifestyle, there are some things you can do at home to try and prevent the progression of dental problems.

  • Brush your pet’s teeth! It only takes 48 hours for plague to solidify in your pet’s mouth, so brushing frequently is crucial. Many pet stores and veterinarians sell pet-friendly toothpaste and brushes. Ideally, this should be done every day. However, several times a week will suffice.

  • Use oral cleansing wipes. These can be found at your veterinarian, and can be easier than brushing.

  • Try to not feed your animal low quality foods and treats.

  • Use teeth-friendly toys. Many dog toys are designed to help clean your dog’s teeth as they play.

Ask Us About Dental Care for Your Pet

The latest findings suggest that by age 3, 80% of dogs have periodontal disease. However, with regular checkups from your vet, regular at-home care and vigilance, you can decrease the chances your pet will require dental surgery. Bees Ferry Veterinary Hospital is committed to providing your pet with the best possible dental care. Ask us more about dental care during your next visit or contact us today!

Jennifer Morrow