February is CalviàVet´s Pet Smile Month – the month designated to promote Dental Health Awareness.
At CalviàVet we believe that looking after pets´ teeth is as important as looking after any other part of their body and it´s an aspect of our patients´ health which often gets overlooked.
So this month, dental health assessments and preventative advice are FREE and we are giving a 15% discount on all dental treatments for all pets with a free fluoride treatment for cats and dogs.
Keeping your pet’s teeth and gums in good shape has many health benefits in addition to maintaining fresh breath. Pet Smile Month is a great time to schedule a free checkup for your pet to ensure the best dental health possible.
WHAT IS DENTAL DISEASE?
Dental disease does NOT only affect senior pets. Without preventative dental care, 80 percent of dogs and 70 percent of cats show signs of oral disease by age three. Dental disease progresses in stages, progressing from mild gum disease to severe bone infection and tooth loss. If caught early, you can prevent further damage and save as many teeth as possible.
HOW DO I KNOW IF MY PET HAS DENTAL DISEASE?
Our pets are far braver than we are and, in the early stages, they may not show any obvious signs of a problem. Bad breath is often, but not always, the first indicator of dental disease.
Not only is your best friend´s bad breath unpleasant, but an infected mouth can result in other, ‘larger’ problems, such as heart, liver and kidney disease from the overload of bacteria surrounding the infected tooth which enter the blood stream.
Of course, less commonly, other conditions could be causing bad breath in the absence of, or in addition to, tooth/gum disease. This is why it´s always advisable to get your pet´s halitosis checked out by a vet.
Other symptoms of advanced dental disease include a reluctance to eat or play with toys, “chattering” of the teeth when trying to eat, lethargy, bleeding gums, and failing to groom (cats). Some may also exhibit drooling or even pawing at the mouth.
HOW DO WE TREAT DENTAL PROBLEMS?
During a dental assessment, we perform a full and thorough dental examination assessing the state of the mouth. In certain cases where a problem is suspected but the patient is not willing to sit back and give us a big “aaaahhhh”, a mild sedation may be necessary. We generally have to give a full general anaesthetic for dental proceedures, as unfortunately, our furry patients won’t tolerate the strange sensations of the ultrasonic scaler to remove the tartar or other treatments requiring them to remain still with an open mouth for prolonged periods.
If a dental treatment is deemed necessary, we will perform a pre-anaesthetic health assessment to make sure your pet is fit and not suffering any underlying illnesses. Antibiotics are sometimes used prior to and after a dental cleaning to prevent bacterial spread through the blood stream.
WHAT HAPPENS DURING THE TREATMENT?
Because we feel dentistry is a very important area of veterinary care, we have imported the most advanced veterinary dental equipment we could find.
The patient will be put under anaesthetic and carefully monitored throughout the proceedure which will vary in length from 20 minutes to 120 minutes depending on the severity of the problems. We will then remove the plaque and tartar with an ultrasonic dental scaler the same way it is done in humans. If the teeth are in a bad state we sometimes have to remove them as otherwise they can be a source of pain, discomfort and infection for your pet. Any stitches used will dissolve in the mouth on their own.
After cleaning the teeth we then polish them with a special prophylactic paste to delay the build up of plaque in the future. A further fluoride treatment can also be given. Benefits include desensitising exposed dentin, strengthening tooth enamel and decreasing rate of plaque reattachment.
As soon as the proceedure is completed we wake your pet up, ensuring that they are snug and warm and recovery is pleasant, calm and stress-free. In the case of extractions, we administer 2 types of painkiller before they are awake so that any pain is kept to a minimum. Pets go back home with their owners once they are fully awake and up on their feet.
DENTAL HYGEINE AT HOME
There are many ways you can help keep your pet´s teeth nice and healthy:
– If you can train your pet from a very young age and she/he tolerates it, regular tooth brushing is the best prevention method. With a new puppy or kitten you can initiate a good dental care program at home. We are always happy to provide brushing lessons, and sell brushes and toothpaste specifically for dogs and cats. (NOTE: do not use human toothpaste on your pet!)
You should brush your pet’s teeth once daily but realistically, even once or twice a week is great too -setting up a routine and getting into the habit will help.
– Give them something to chew on. Dental sticks or chews are great but you have to be careful not to give too many as they can easily cause weight gain or stomach upsets. Toys like the Kong type and chewing ropes are an excellent option …they last longer and pets can play for ages chewing on them. Bones are excellent too but always best given under supervision and preferably uncooked since these are less likely to splinter or break up and get swallowed.
– Specially designed diets like Royal Canin Dental or Hills T/D have been developed to actively clean the teeth while the animal eats and provide your pet with a complete and healthy meal. They definitely slow down the future build up of plaque and tartar on teeth, increasing the interval between dental proceedures.
– There are also products available that you can mix in with the food or drinking water that help retard the growth of bacteria on teeth.
Please take advantage of this opportunity DURING FEBRUARY for a dental assessment at no cost and with no obligation. We will give you an honest professional opinion and, in most cases, an immediate proceedure will NOT be called for. We can give you advice that will most likely prolong the period until a full treatment is needed or even prevent having one all together!
So phone and make an appointment to discuss your pet’s dental health with us and we will be more than happy to answer any questions you may have.
Tel: 971 695108
A link about how to brush your dog´s teeth here: http://www.petsmile.org/index.php?nav1=3&nav2=5&nav3=1
A link about how to brush your cat´s teeth here: http://www.petsmile.org/index.php?nav1=3&nav2=5&nav3=2