Dental care is a very important step in your pets’ overall health. If your pet has dental disease, they are susceptible to many other diseases. Preventing dental disease starts at home. Every pet needs a home care plan just like every person needs to care for their teeth. There are many ways you can help improve your pet’s oral health: brushing your pet’s teeth daily, dental diets, dental chews, oral rinses or water additives.
Fact: 70% of cats and 80% of dogs over 3 years of age have dental disease. Plaque builds up on the teeth if it is not brushed off. Over time, plaque hardens into tartar. The only way to remove tartar is through a dental scaling at your pets’ veterinary office. If tartar is left on the teeth it will lead to gingivitis and dental disease. This can lead to severe pain, tooth loss, infection and organ damage including the heart, liver and kidneys.
Dental disease is determined on the severity of tartar buildup and gingivitis. There are 4 stages of dental disease. Stage 1 is when plaque covers most surfaces of the teeth. The edge of the gum line will be mildly inflamed, red and swollen. This stage in most cases can be treated with homecare. Stage 2 is when you will start to see more inflammation and infection can spread to the jaw bone. The plaque will harden into tartar. A professional dental cleaning will be recommended to prevent disease advancement. Stage 3 will include bleeding gums and infection can now enter the blood stream and can cause irreversible damage to organs. A professional dental cleaning will be recommended to improve your pets’ quality of life. Stage 4 is the most severe and at this stage, teeth may even fall out on their own. A professional dental cleaning will be needed to remove any further infected teeth to alleviate pain and discomfort.
The dental cleaning is a day procedure done here at the veterinary hospital. All patients are anesthetised for their procedure. This is to ensure the safety of your pet (we cannot ask them to sit still and say “Ah”!). An IV catheter is placed to ensure your pet stays hydrated throughout the procedure. Their teeth are scaled well, including under the gum line, and polished. Dental x-rays are then taken to monitor for any bone loss or tooth decay. The doctor will then determine if teeth need to be removed. Once the procedure is complete, you will receive a phone call with an update. A discharge appointment is scheduled and the technician will go over homecare instructions.
Contact us today to set up your pets’ dental assessment and create homecare plans that will suit you and your pets’ needs.
Davisville Park Animal Hospital
518 Mt. Pleasant Rd
Toronto, ON M4S 2M2