The scary truth about bad breath!
70% of cats and 80% of dogs show signs of oral disease requiring veterinary intervention by the age of 3!
The most common signs of dental disease in pets are:
- Bad breath (halitosis).
- Gum inflammation and redness (especially at the area where the tooth meets the gum line).
- Problems eating (dropping food, taking a long time to chew, disinterest in dry foods or oral chews, or going off food altogether).
- Consistent lip licking or pawing at the face.
- Bleeding gums.
- Loose teeth.
- Discoloured teeth (usually brown).
- Blood in the water or food bowl, or on a toy after playing with it.
- Chewing on only one side of the mouth.
- Discomfort during oral examination or when giving tablets etc.
It is important to manage dental disease as it can affect your pet in many ways including;
Pain – Animals are extremely good at hiding pain, so even with severe dental disease they can appear to be fine. Dental pain can grumble along and only come to attention when it is very bad – we all know how sore a toothache can be!
Infection – Bacteria may eat away at the bone surrounding the tooth, which can lead to bacteria getting into the bloodstream. This can lead to infection of the internal organs and significantly shorten your pet’s life.
Tooth Loss – We want your pet to keep all of its teeth! By having the teeth cleaned regularly we can significantly reduce the need for dental extractions caused by bacteria that eat away at the bone.
What if my pet requires a dental procedure?
A dental procedure for your pet is much like us going to the dentist. Unfortunately, animals won’t stay still during this process and thus require a general anaesthetic so we can examine and clean their mouth safely and accurately.
While your pet is under anaesthetic, the oral cavity will be investigated and each tooth individually assessed. This is carried out through gingival depth probing (to check gum health), a thorough visual inspection to look for any abnormalities and an assessment of surface tartar build-up. A series of dental radiographs will also likely be taken so that we can examine the tooth structure below the gum line.
A thorough clean of your pet’s teeth will be completed with an ultrasonic scaler, followed by a polish with a rotating prophy head and pet-friendly toothpaste.
All ROUTINE dental procedures at our hospitals include:
- A day of hospitalisation (overnight stays are rarely necessary).
- A full health examination prior to anaesthesia.
- Use of human-grade anaesthetic drugs.
- Intravenous fluid therapy.
- Careful anaesthetic and recovery monitoring.
- Dental x-rays.
- Dental charting and a full oral examination by our veterinarian.
- Ultrasonic de-scale to remove plaque, tartar and calculus.
- Polishing with a pet-friendly toothpaste to prevent the further adherence of bacteria to the tooth surface.
- A full dental report, before and after photographs and recommendations for ongoing dental care.
- A thorough discharge appointment.
What is involved if my pet requires tooth extractions?
Sometimes, we do not know exactly what we are working with until we have assessed the entire oral cavity thoroughly – and which is only able to be carried out once your pet is under general anaesthetic.
If tooth extractions are required, the following points need to be factored in:
- Local anaesthetic nerve block injections are always administered prior to any tooth extraction to ensure patient comfort.
- Extra, longer acting pain relief for you to take home is dispensed if extractions are necessary.
- Sometimes, antibiotics are necessary to dispense if the oral cavity is infected.
- Sutures are usually placed to close extraction sites.
- The extraction of some teeth may be tricky, and large teeth (such as molars) might require surgical extraction.
- Extra, sterile packaged pieces of specialised dental equipment or surgical drapes may be required.
- The anaesthetic time will be longer than that of a simple cleaning procedure.
If your pet requires any of these treatments, costs can add up – so addressing dental disease promptly will almost certainly help save you money in the long-run.
Regular dental treatments are common. On average, most domestic dogs and cats have their teeth cleaned approximately once every 12-24 months. Some pets require more frequent treatments, and some require fewer treatments.
We reward frequent flyers!
If your pet requires a follow up dental cleaning treatment within 12 months of a previous treatment, we are happy to offer you a discount of $100 off the routine cleaning price to reward you for looking after your pet’s ongoing health!
Pet Club Memberships:
One of the fantastic inclusions of a Greater Springfield Veterinary Pet Club membership is $200 off ANY dental treatment – routine or not!
This will allow you to have your pets’ teeth cleaned once a year and stop that smelly breath from the get-go!
Spread the cost of your pet’s routine healthcare needs over a 12 month period, simply by making one initial upfront payment, followed by eleven equal direct debit instalments.
GREATER SPRINGFIELD VETERINARY
Under the leadership of Dr Jeannet Kessels, we have been caring for pets in the Greater Springfield area since 2006.
We are one dedicated team working across two easy-to-access locations.
We are here for you 7am-10pm, 7 days a week.
Emergencies are seen at our Augustine Heights Hospital.