Why is dental care important to dogs and cats?
Dental care of dogs and cats is one of the most overlooked areas of pet health care. Just like humans, pets need regular dental care too. Dental disease affects up to 80% of pets over the age of three and these conditions can cause serious consequences to your pet’s overall health. Poor dental care can lead to difficulty eating, bad breath, broken and rotten teeth, gingivitis, and periodontal disease. The tartar and any infected areas of the mouth contain bacteria than can travel to other parts of the body causing heart, liver, and kidney disease. Pets can live longer, healthier lives if oral health care is managed and maintained throughout their lives.
How can I keep my pet’s teeth healthy?
Brushing your pet’s teeth once or twice a week will help prevent the build-up of tartar and plaque. Starting to brush your pet’s teeth while they’re young is ideal. This will keep them on the right path to a clean healthier mouth and get them used to the procedure. Feeding your pet a dry food diet will also help chip tartar off their teeth. There are many products you can find in your local pet store that will help keep your pet’s mouth healthy such as toothbrushes, toothpaste, chew toys, treats, etc. Never use human toothpaste for your pet! As a preventative measure, adult pets over the age of three years should get an annual dental cleaning.
How do I know if my pet needs a dental cleaning?
Examine your pet’s teeth regularly for signs of periodontal disease, such as brownish colored teeth; swollen, red, or bleeding gums; persistent bad breath; loose teeth or loss of teeth; pus between the gums and teeth; broken teeth and any unusual growth in the mouth. If you’ve noticed that your pet is reluctant to eat, play with chew toys, or drink cold water these may all be warning signs of dental issues. Please make an appointment to have your pet seen for a dental exam at PAWS Atlanta.
What happens during a dental cleaning?
The animal is sedated under general anesthesia throughout the entire procedure. An ultra-sonic scaler is used to remove tartar from the teeth and gum line. Once cleaned, the teeth are polished with a fluoride paste. This is important because polishing smooth’s out the teeth’s surface which will stop rapid accumulation of tartar in the future. If needed loose, broken or rotten teeth are extracted.
Does PAWS offer dental cleaning services?
Yes, at PAWS Atlanta’s pet dental clinics, cats are $100 and dogs are $125. This price includes the pre-dental exam, dental cleaning, and any MINOR extractions, pain medication, and antibiotics if needed. PAWS Atlanta will only extract single rooted teeth or teeth that are already loose at the time of the procedure. If PAWS Atlanta feels that your pet needs more complex extractions or has any other oral condition that needs to be addressed, we will suggest that your pet get seen by a veterinarian at a regular full-service animal hospital.
Often it is older animals that are in the most need of dental cleanings. Due to the fact that older pets may have health conditions that would make sedating them more dangerous, PAWS Atlanta recommends that any pet over the age of 7 years have pre-anesthetic blood work performed within 2 weeks prior to the dental exam. Please note that PAWS Atlanta does not offer pre-anesthetic blood work. The pre-anesthetic blood work can be done at a regular veterinarian’s office and brought to the pre dental exam.