Dental Health month is here for your Vail Valley Pet
Here at Mountain Mobile Vet and The Animal Hospital Center, we strongly believe in dental care for your pet. As your local Pet Vet, we offer full service dental care,, with dental exams year round for free of charge. In February and September, we offer a 20% off all dental services . Read below!
February is almost here. This is “national Pet dental health month,” a time to have your pet’s annual dental health check up. Many local veterinarians are offering discounts on pet dental services. So often I hear “Doc, I had a cat my whole life and I never had to clean her teeth,” or “Doc, I just give my dog a bone once a week and I figured that would take care of those teeth!”
Believe it or not, your pet’s need annual dental exams and prophys, just like people! Because your pets cannot talk to you and tell you when there truly is an issue, having an annual dental check up can be very helpful in identifying pathology in your pet’s mouth long before you see signs!
Pets are prone to multiple dental issues. In dogs, we often will find broken teeth, abscessed teeth, as well as oral cancers. In cat, we will find what is referred to as “resorbtive” lesions, a type of “cavity” found up next to the gum line which can be very painful to a cat. In addition, we also discover abscessing teeth and again, oral cancers.
In pets, outward signs of dental disease include:
-discharge from the mouth
-problems picking up and/or chewing food
-swelling on the side of the face
- Talking or making noises when eating or opening the mouth
-not wanting the mouth touched, “shying away” when approached
-chewing on one side of the mouth vs another
-Chronic sneezing and/or nasal discharge
Once examined, your veterinarian can determine the need for the next step in your pet’s dental care.
The first, and foremost step is a good dental cleaning. The pet is typically sedated to avoid dangerous particles of plaque and bacteria from getting into your pet’s lungs. During the cleaning process, the teeth are carefully ultrasonically cleaned and polished, then a “probe” is utilized to locate problem areas. Photos are taken before and after the cleaning to allow pet owner’s to understand what those teeth looked like prior to the cleaning and how wonderful they look after.
After the dental cleaning, your veterinarian absolutely should take dental radiographs. Just visually examining your pet’s mouth is the “tip of the iceberg” when it comes to truly evaluating your pet’s dental health.Dental radiographs allow the veterinarian to visualize what is happening “below the gum line” and so often times resorbing roots, broken roots, abscesses and even oral cancers can be identified. Your veterinarian can also utilized dental radiographs to predict further problem areas to care can be instigated early to avoid losing those teeth in the future. In questionable areas where there is gum loss and disease starting, veterinarians can instill a long acting antibiotic after deep cleaning to save those teeth from being extracted.
After the dental cleaning and radiographs are performed, several areas of dental pathology can be identified and often repaired.
Repair of dental pathology can include enamel repair, root canals, or even extraction depending upon what is found during the dental procedure.
Regardless, by taking care of your pet’s dental health, you are assuring you are
Preventing serious systemic infections from occurring later, not to forget avoiding your pet being in pain from a dental issue that was not detected early.
In conclusion, being proactive with your pet’s dental care can assure a healthier, happier pet!