Pet Dental Care
You may have heard that it is possible to add two to four years to your pet’s life with proper dental care. This is true, but you will also increase his or her health, vitality and wellbeing. In short, proper dental care will help ensure your pet leads the best life possible.
However, if left untreated, dental disease can not only be painful and inhibit proper nutrition, but it can also lead to serious systemic issues that may affect your pet’s wellbeing before symptoms are noticeable. For example, oral bacteria that enter the bloodstream can damage your pet’s kidneys, heart or liver.
Despite the importance of proper dental care, dental disease is often overlooked by many pet owners across the country. For example, it is estimated that more than 80 percent of dogs and 70 percent of cats develop tooth and gum disease by the age of three years.
This is why Norfolk County Veterinary Service takes proper dental care so seriously. It is an important part of your pet’s preventative care program.
Our dental services include a thorough examination, dental radiographs, teeth cleaning and tooth extractions. We also carry a number of products in order to help support your efforts at home.
Should we find any abnormalities, such as evidence of gum or tooth decay, gingivitis as well as excessive plaque buildup, we will discuss them with you as well as treatment options.
Home Dental Care
Dental care is not something that can be left to periodic visits with your veterinarian. Because plaque buildup—the primary cause of poor oral health—is a gradual process occurring throughout the life of your pet, it is important to practice good home dental care. As with humans, this means regular tooth brushing and in some cases additional steps may be necessary. Any member of the our staff can show you the proper method for caring for your pet’s teeth as well as help you select the most effective dental products for your pet.
You should also be able to recognize the signs of poor oral health. If you notice any of the following you may want to contact your veterinarian:
• Persistent bad breath – one of the first signs of dental disease
• Tartar or plaque buildup (ask your veterinarian how to identify these)
• A yellowish-brown crust of plaque on the teeth near the gum line
• Red and swollen gums
• Pain or bleeding when your pet eats or when the mouth or gums are touched
• Pawing at the mouth
• Decreased appetite or difficulty eating
• Loose or missing teeth