Cuddling with your cat or dog does not have to be a bad experience because of offensive mouth odor. One of the main concerns heard by our doctors and their staff while helping a client is how bad their pet’s breath is. Bad breath isn’t just unpleasant – it can be unhealthy. Up to 80% of dogs and 70% of cats that do not receive proper dental care may show signs of dental disease by the age of 3. Dental disease is caused by bacteria in the mouth. These bacteria form a film on the teeth called plaque. The bacteria eventually die and are calcified by saliva, forming a hard, rough surface called tartar. This can lead to gingivitis or bleeding of the gums. If left untreated, severe dental disease can lead to problems with the kidneys and sometimes even heart disease.
Imagine living with a half-dozen toothaches from broken or rotting teeth, sores in your mouth, or exposed nerves. By taking note of signs of dental disease in your dog or cat, you have the ability to liberate your pet from these painful issues. Signs of dental disease can include pawing at the mouth, drooling more than usual, refusing to eat, or becoming cranky or listless (declined energy). When a client comes into our clinic with their pet, a thorough dental exam will help determine the best course of action for your pet’s dental issues. For some pets daily brushing of the teeth, water additives and dental chews may not be enough to combat dental disease. For those pets who need more aggressive treatment we recommend anesthesia and a thorough dental cleaning. This procedure involves pre-anesthetic blood work, placement of an intravenous catheter, scaling and polishing the teeth, a fluoride treatment, possible extractions and maybe even radiographs. These more involved cases may also need to be sent home with additional pain medications and antibiotics.