24 Aug Have you peeked into your pet’s mouth?
If we were to ask our clients what they conserved to be the most common cause of illness in their pets, we might receive 20 suggestions.
However, without doubt, in our view it is dental disease. 80% Of pets over 2 years of age have dental pathology, much of it (70%) beneath the gum line is not visible. Dental disease typically expresses with:
- visible tartar and discolouration of teeth
- tendency to chew on one side
- reluctance to have anyone looking at their teeth
- red gums (periodontal disease)
- may swallow food whole, may shy away from dry food altogether, may stop chewing their toys
Our pets do not emote dental pain and eating is not an indicator of a pain free mouth! They suffer in silence and yes all of the above conditions cause pain. Only pain? Much more, dental infections affect the muscles, kidneys, heart valves etc. etc. Dental disease can also increase the risk of oral cancer and is associated with a shorter life span.
The importance of dental care (prophylaxis) starts very early in life and is life-long. Some breeds will cope adequately with dental treatment once yearly, smaller breeds often twice yearly. This is the equivalent for us of dental visits once or twice every 5 years (so its not surprising). Simple things assist greatly – dental chews/wipes, water additives and dental diets are all quite effective. Tooth brushing is considered to be gold standard (ask us how).
However, when we identify dental disease in many of our patients, it is often advanced and often initially expensive to resolve.
Because we provide them with safe and professional dental care. This involves:
- pre-operative examination and pain control/sedative/fluids
- pre-operative blood tests to establish the safety of anaesthesia
- pre-operative dental x-rays to see the 70% of pathology below gum lines
- surgical probing and descaling and resolution of periodontal disease (that causes pain)
- surgical removal of teeth that are root infected, have lost bony support or often have broken roots
- post-operative, a dedicated nurse to see your pet wakes up safely and has sufficient pain control
- post-surgical – 3 and 10 day complimentary examinations to make sure the mouth has healed
- ongoing advice on maintenance of dental health going forward
- dental surgery – can be a prophy and polish which takes 20 minutes. In severe cases dental surgery can take up to 2 hours or more.
The outcome we wish for – no more pain or infection.
Our team’s reward – we all feel wonderful after our dentals that we know resolved an issue that has often caused pain for months or even years. We feel great every time we finish a dental.
Take home message? Have a peek into your pet’s mouth if you suspect problems, let us help you. We offer complimentary dental checks, so book your pet’s in for a dental check today.