Preventative maintenance is something we always think about when we drive a car that we own. We need to get the oil changed periodically, check the tires, transmission fluid and make sure we do the things we need to do to keep that vehicle running smoothly to insure that it will last us a long time. Preventative veterinary medicine is very much like the preventative maintenance we do on our vehicles. Pet dental care helps keep them healthy. Teeth with lots of tartar serve as a haven for bacteria that can cause liver disease, kidney disease and heart disease. Pet dental disease also causes bad breath, bone and tooth loss, and depending on the severity, oral pain and discomfort. Smaller toy breeds seem to be more prone to dental disease, but all pets, large and small breeds, can be affected. Routine checkups with a pet dental exam can allow the veterinarians on staff to make the best recommendations for a clean mouth and a healthy pet.
WHAT A PET DENTAL CLEANING ENTAILS
Proper dental cleaning must be done under general anesthesia. X-rays or a CT scan must be performed to allow proper visualization of the toothʼs roots and underlying bone structure. Any diseased or loose teeth are evaluated and removed if necessary. The healthy teeth are scaled with an ultrasonic scaler, polished, and a fluoride treatment is applied. Pet dental cleaning is usually done as an outpatient procedure and the patient goes home the same day. Most of us, on the advice of our dentist, go in twice a year for routine dental cleaning. Most of us routinely brush our teeth several times daily, floss, water pick, use mouthwash and in spite of all of that still go in to the dentist twice a year. Some pets do get their teeth brushed but the only way to know that your pets oral and overall health is where it needs to be is by visiting your petʼs veterinarian.
MAINTAIN A HAPPY & HEALTHY PET
Your car will continue running even if you donʼt change the oil. Your pet will continue to survive even with bad teeth. Your car will last a lot longer if you change the oil and do preventative maintenance that is required. Letʼs make sure that your pets get the treatment and preventative measures they require for a long, healthy, happy life. Pets and their unconditional love make a house a home. Letʼs make sure that we do the right thing as responsible pet owners and keep our petʼs health running like a finely tuned engine!
Written by: Dr. Orlando Garza, DVM