Why dental health care is so important for your pet
Approximately 80% of dogs and cats over the age of three can have some sort of dental disease which becomes more severe with age. Some breeds can have it developing at an even earlier age. If left untreated it can become a major issue for pets and owners. Dental disease can lead to more serious problems such as illnesses related to the heart, liver and kidneys. It is for this reason that pets require regular health checks at the vet. Dogs and cats age much more quickly than humans, and it’s important to detect problems early in order to ensure a long and happy life for your companion animal. Checking your pet’s teeth will be part of your annual health check.
In striving for excellence Tallebudgera Veterinary Clinic focuses on
Dental Healthcare for your pets
Tallebudgera Veterinary Clinic Dental Procedure
All dogs and cats that are booked in for a dental scale and polish or procedure will be having a light anaesthetic. Therefore we require your pet to fast overnight. Their last meal should be before 8pm the night before their procedure. They can have water during the night but it should be taken away in the morning. On the morning of their dental, pets are encouraged to go to the toilet.
We usually admit our dental patients at 8am on the morning. Our nurses will go through some questions with you before we take your pet through to the prep room. They will be checked over by the vet and/or nurse and then given a light sedation. All our patients undergoing an anaesthetic are given intravenous fluids during their procedure. This keeps them well hydrated and facilitates a smooth recovery from the anaesthetic. A qualified nurse monitors your pet’s vital signs throughout the procedure and stays with them until they are fully recovered. Our nursing is intensive with the aim of ensuring your pet has a safe procedure and recovers fully enough to go home a couple of hours post dental. We always follow up with a call the next day to hear how your beloved pet is doing. A reminder is set on your pet’s file so that we may recheck the teeth two months after the dental to ensure all is well with your pet’s dental health. This is a free courtesy service we provide for our patients.
Frequently asked questions:
Q: What are the signs of bad teeth or periodontal dental disease?
A: One of the first signs that your pet’s teeth need attention is a smelly breath. They can also have bleeding of the gums when eating dry biscuits or bones. In advanced periodontal disease dogs and cats may go off their food and lose weight.
Q: How will I know if my pet needs a dental prophy (scale and polish)?
A: When your pet comes in for yearly vaccinations, checkups or grooming, either the vet or a qualified nurse will examine your pet’s teeth and grade them. If your pet needs dental work, you will be given a grading form advising you what stage your pet’s teeth are at and what needs to be done. It will also inform you of the approximate cost.
Q: What must I do to prepare my pet for a dental procedure?
A: Your pet must not eat anything from 8pm the night before the procedure. Water is okay during the night but must be taken away first thing in the morning. A toilet walk is advisable before bringing your pet to the clinic.
Q: How long does my pet need to stay in hospital to get his teeth cleaned?
A: Dogs and cats are admitted between 7:45 and 8:30 on the morning of the dental. They are usually ready to go home around 3:30 – 6:00 pm the same day.
Q: Is an anaesthetic necessary?
A: Yes, your pet will be sedated and then put under a light anaesthetic which is monitored by a qualified nurse the whole time during the procedure.
Q: My dog/cat has had one dental, does this mean he/she will never need another?
A: Unfortunately the answer is no! Just like humans, dogs and cats will require regular dental care. This may mean that he/she will require 6 monthly scaling and polishing. Once your pet has received his/her dental, we will book them in every 6 months for a check up to see just how they are progressing. JUST REMEMBER THAT WE AS HUMANS SEE A DENTIST FOR A SCALE AND POLISH EVERY 6 MONTHS AND OUR PETS AGE ON AVERAGE 7 HUMAN YEARS PER YEAR HOW WOULD YOU LIKE TO GO 7 YEARS WITHOUT HAVING YOUR TEETH CLEANED?
What you need to know about extractions:
Examination of your pet’s oral cavity enables a veterinarian or nurse to qualitatively assess the severity of periodontal disease present. However, in order to establish if there are any teeth requiring extraction the veterinarian will often use a probe along the gum line. If a pocket is present next to a tooth root the probe will sink into that pocket.
As you can imagine this is a delicate (and uncomfortable) procedure and is not tolerated in conscious animals. Therefore, we do this once the animal is under the general anaesthetic before we start scaling and polishing the teeth. If extractions are indeed required, we will ring the owner to discuss this and the additional cost with them before we remove any teeth.
Free Dental Checks
Our veterinary staff are available to carry out a free dental check on your pets’ teeth. Just ring and make an appointment and your pet’s teeth will be graded between 0 and 4 depending on how severe the tartar build up is, whether or not there is inflammation of the gums (gingivitis) and whether extractions may be necessary.
Our veterinary staff will advise you on the best dental preventative care for your pet. Brushing your pet’s teeth is considered the gold star option for dental care. We stock a range of dental care products to help make your job easier when caring for your pet’s teeth. Ask our staff to for the method of preventative dental healthcare tailored for your pet.