Dental health is just as important to your pet as any other aspect of their physical health and well-being. A good dental health program will include regular dental exams, professional cleanings, and home dental care. By staying on top of your pet’s dental health, you can avoid problems with dental disease and decay that can cause your pet pain and discomfort later in life. If you own a pet, here’s what you should know about their dental care.
Pet Dental Cleanings
Like people, pets should be scheduled for dental cleanings at least once annually. Depending on the breed, age and health of your pet, your vet may suggest more frequent cleanings. Pet dental cleanings entail a thorough inspection of your pet’s teeth, gums, and mouth, x-rays (if needed), teeth scaling and polishing.
As dogs aren't naturally cooperative when it comes to doctors tinkering with their mouth, anesthesia is generally required for oral examinations and dental cleanings. Before applying anesthesia, your vet will conduct blood work to verify that your pet is in good enough health for this procedure. This minimizes any risk of your pet having adverse effects to the anesthesia.
While under anesthesia, your vet may take x-rays of your pet’s mouth to evaluate the state of their teeth, gums, and jaw. If there are no problems, he’ll then proceed with the cleaning.
Vets today utilize modern equipment for removing plaque and tartar that can cause decay on your pet's teeth. Your pet’s vital signs will be monitored throughout the procedure to ensure these stay normal the entire time they are under the anesthesia. If your pet requires antibiotics or painkillers, they will also be administered at the time of cleaning.
Upon completion of teeth cleaning, your vet will bring your pet out of the anesthesia. You may be asked to stay at the vet’s office until your pet has fully recovered from the effects of the anesthesia. Upon recovery, you will be cleared to return home. Be sure to notify your vet if your pup experiences any problems with eating or drinking or appears to be in pain after a cleaning.
Home Dental Care
In addition to professional cleaning, your pet needs home dental care to keep their teeth healthy and strong. Your vet can help you select the right tools and accessories for cleaning your pet’s teeth as well as provide tips on brushing and cleaning techniques. By establishing a routine for home dental care, you can improve the health of your pet’s teeth.
There are many products on the market today that can help keep your pet’s teeth clean. Your vet can help you select pet food, dog treats and chew toys that promote healthier gums and teeth.
At Park Hills Animal Hospital, we recognize the importance of taking care of your pet’s teeth. We offer comprehensive dental care treatments suited to your pet’s individual needs. Call us today at 859-581-5200 to schedule your pet’s next professional dental cleaning.