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Dental Care For Animals

Dental care is an often overlooked aspect of animal healthcare but, in all actuality, is one of the more important parts of caring for your furry friend. There are a wide variety of health issues that can arise from poor dental care. Read on to learn about dental care, why it’s important, and health issues that can arise from neglecting to care for your pet’s dental needs.

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Introduction To Animal Oral Health

Though animals can’t get cavities, there is a wide variety of issues that can result from neglected oral care. Some of these issues are:

  • Fractured Teeth
  • Persistent Primary Teeth
  • Stomatitis (cats)
  • Oral Masses
  • Periodontal Disease

These diseases can be painful for animals and are often hard to detect if you don’t conduct oral checkups. Buena Vet is always ready to perform a checkup and, if necessary, treatment. We care for every animal that comes into our office and we always ensure that our checkups are in-depth and don’t miss any potential issue. The most important aspects of our checkup include checking for signs of periodontal disease and for oral masses.

Periodontal Disease

Periodontal disease, also known as gum disease, is an infection of the gums. It results from a buildup of plaque on the teeth. Periodontal disease can be extremely painful for animals and is almost always uncomfortable. If left untreated the disease can result in tooth loss and, in serious cases, the disease spreading to the vital organs of the body. One thing is for sure, though. Periodontal disease results in your pet not being able to act like themselves.

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How can you prevent periodontal disease?

Periodontal disease is fairly easy to prevent. It begins with regular dental examinations, cleaning of the teeth, and good general hygiene. Periodontal disease is mainly prevented by removing the plaque from the teeth to prevent a build-up of plaque on the teeth. The best way of doing this is by, starting when your pet is young and brushing your animal’s teeth with a finger brush. Use only pet-specific toothpaste!

General Information

How often should I do checkups?

Checkups should be done annually to ensure that there are no signs of potential disease and, if there are, treat the disease in its early phases. Checkups are a much more cost-efficient way of keeping your pet happy and healthy as opposed to being reactive when it comes to your pet’s health. Preventing disease will not only keep your pet happy, but it will also keep your life stress-free!

What does a checkup look like?

Buena Vet stresses the importance of oral health in animals. An oral checkup always requires the animal to go under anesthetics. This is because the animal won’t understand what’s happening to it and is likely to bite or attempt to resist the treatment, endangering both the doctor and the animal. To ensure that the operation goes safely, the animal is put under anesthetic. In the case of abnormal results, extra precautions are taken. In some cases, the treatment may be rescheduled altogether.

Is it affordable?

An annual oral checkup for pets, while it may seem expensive, is a cost-efficient and affordable act. Rather than have to pay potentially thousands for surgery to help your furry friend, or having to deal with an animal in pain, doing a checkup can catch a potential illness early. This helps prevent the need to break the bank helping your animal. Furthermore, dental care can be done at home in-between checkups!

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What causes periodontal disease?

Periodontal disease is a slow-developing disease. The cause for periodontal disease is the result of the gums’ reaction to the build-up of plaque and toxins on the teeth. The bacteria that comes from the plaque goes into the gums, causing a bacterial infection.

What are some signs of periodontal disease?

The first signs of periodontal disease that you might notice are:

  • Bad breath
  • Red/Swollen gums
  • Swelling of eyes, discharge from nose
  • Difficulty eating
  • Missing teeth

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How can I care for my animal at home?

Caring for your animal at home is very important for the overall health of your animal. Oral care at home consists of using soft toothbrushes to remove plaque from the animal’s teeth and clean off any bacteria within the mouth. This can be done by asking your veterinarian for a toothbrush. They’ll show you how to brush your animal’s teeth properly as well as provide you with oral gel, toothpaste, and food recommendations that are good for your animal’s teeth.

What food is good for your animal’s oral health?

There are multiple types of foods that are good for animal teeth. Generally, switching from canned food to dry food is much better. This is because canned food will leave residue on the teeth. For dogs, carrot slices, apple slices, or squash are great treats that will help your dog’s oral health. As your dog chews the food the plaque will be scrubbed from its teeth.

The Bottom Line

Caring for your pet’s oral needs is one of the most important aspects of owning a pet. This is due to the possibility of illness spanning from poor dental care. These diseases can be hard to detect meaning that it’s a necessity to get your pet checked for potentially having a disease. Oral diseases can be potentially lethal for an animal if the disease is to reach the bloodstream. This is due to the potential that the bacteria will spread to the heart, brain, or liver. The most common disease for animals is periodontal disease, most commonly called gum disease. This disease, along with others, can be prevented through oral care done at home. This includes brushing the animal’s teeth and feeding the animal proper food. Oral checkups are a necessary part of keeping your pet happy and healthy. Oral checkups are affordable and cost-efficient. Buena Vet offers x-rays, ultrasonic cleanings, polishing, sealing, and scraping.

To schedule, an appointment with Buena Vet call 805-642-2191 today