Dental care is vital to the overall health of any companion animal. Dental disease can exacerbate many health issues throughout the body as an infection in the mouth can travel through the bloodstream. Over 70% of companion animals over the age of three years suffer from some form of dental disease, making oral health a very important factor to remember with your pet. Many pet owners are unaware of the high importance of dental care in their pet’s life. Some statistics now indicate that maintaining good oral hygiene through regular dental cleanings can improve life expectancy of your pet by as much as 3 years. As your animal grows they will require more attention to oral health. There are many ways to help improve your pet’s dental hygiene, these include brushing teeth, dental chews, dental formulated diets and most importantly annual examinations.
- You can start brushing your animal’s teeth at anytime but beginning this at a younger age usually makes it easier to make it a regular habit between you and your animal. Getting used to brushing may take several attempts. It is best to start gradually by using just your finger and appropriate animal enzymatic tooth paste before moving right to a toothbrush. Never use human toothpaste as fluoride just like in humans, is not good for them if swallowed. There are many different types of animal toothbrushes available but even simply a child size super soft bristle toothbrush is sufficient. When brushing your pet’s teeth do so gently and mainly focus on the outside of the teeth as well as getting right to the back of the mouth. Always give your animal lots of praise and treats for each gradual step as it helps reinforce teeth brushing as a positive experience which will allow it to continue in the future.
- There are several dental treats available, so trying one or two to see what your pet likes is beneficial. Read the labels of the dental treats carefully as some contain enzymes to help decrease and prevent plaque and tartar build up. Some dental treats will even have a stamp of approval from the Veterinary Oral Health Council (VOHC), this means these treats meet strict VOHC testing guidelines for controlling plaque and tartar. If you have any question about which treats would be best for your pet remember you can always speak to your veterinarian to find out which ones will be most beneficial.
- Dental formulated diet are also available through your local veterinarian clinic. Dental diet work on two different principles. The first being the kibble are usually constructed in such a way that when your pet bites into them the help mechanically brush their teeth. On top of helping mechanically brush the teeth the dental diets will also contain enzyme to help decrease and prevent plaque and tartar build up.
- Always be careful giving antlers to your dogs, not only can they cause serious intestinal issues but they can also cause unwanted fractures of your dog’s teeth which can lead tooth infections and possible extractions.
If your pet has brown or yellow build up on their teeth, bad breath or is having difficulty eating, these could all be signs of dental disease. The most effective way to clean your pet’s teeth and remove all dental disease that may have accumulated is through a professional cleaning. Here at The Spay Clinic we utilize state of the art dental imaging equipment and ultrasonic dental tools to help enhance our capabilities during your pet’s dental procedure. We are pleased offer FREE pre-dental consultations for you and your pet. During this consultation, an Animal Health Technologist will be happy to fully explain what a dental procedure entails as well as assess your pet’s teeth to give you a personalized estimate for the recommended procedure required. It is important to remember that all patients must be in good physical health and any animals over the age of 5 years of age are required to complete pre-anesthetic bloodwork to check their systemic health. During your consultation, pre-procedural antibiotics will be discussed with you. Most animals are recommended to be placed on antibiotics a few days prior to as well as following the dental procedure to help control any infection that may be present within your pet’s mouth. Dental extractions may also be discussed with you if certain teeth are noted to be in an undesirable condition. Extractions are practiced regularly by most veterinarians and owners should not be concerned if your pet has an issue that requires a tooth or teeth to be pulled. Tooth extractions do not cause a great deal of discomfort for your pet, in fact in most cases, they will feel and function much better once the source of pain has been taken out.
Once you book an appointment for your pet to have a dental procedure performed it is important to remember the fasting instructions the night before to prepare your animal for the next day. No food should be fed to your animal after 6:00PM the night before as well as no water should be given to your animal after midnight the night before unless directed otherwise. These are to prevent potential anesthetic complications during your animal’s routine procedure. All dental procedures at The Spay Clinic are by appointment only and bookings must be arranged with the clinic staff. Your pet will have a “day stay” at the clinic and must be dropped off at The Spay Clinic between 7:00AM – 8:00AM at 10575 111th Street NW. Although vaccinations are not mandatory for their day stay, we here at The Spay Clinic highly recommend that your pet’s vaccination status be current prior to surgery. If the vaccination status is not current the staff at The Spay Clinic are more than welcome to assist you to make sure the proper vaccinations are given to your pet on the day of surgery. Please notify the staff at The Spay Clinic during admission of any new or ongoing concerns that you may have about your pet’s health. For your pet’s comfort and well-being, please encourage them to go to the bathroom prior to bringing them into The Spay Clinic the day of their surgery. Our staff will be happy discuss all of this with you at the time of booking and will remind you once more with a confirmation call about two days prior to your scheduled surgery date.
Our staff will discuss the post-operative care and management that your pet will require following their dental procedure. You will also be provided a document outlining what was discussed for your reference at home. For your convenience, this form is also available here for download.
If you have any questions or concerns regarding the post-operative care and recovery of your pet, please do not hesitate to call us at The Spay Clinic during regular business hours at (780)-426-4221.