Your pet’s world revolves around its mouth.
Regular dental care is essential for keeping your pet healthy and happy. Dental disease is a common issue among household pets that can lead to serious health problems if left untreated. Periodic dental exams help maintain proper oral hygiene and prevent future complications.
Red Hills Veterinary Hospital offers complete pet Oral Health Services, features include:
- Annual Dental Cleanings
- Preventative Dental Care
- Emergency Oral Services
- Flexible Payment Options
When it comes to your pet’s quality of life, Red Hills Veterinary Hospital is happy to go the extra mile. We’re proud to say that we’re one of the only American Animal Hospital Association-accredited veterinary clinics in Gillette. This designation means that we have met or exceeded the rigorous standards set by the organization and are inspected annually to ensure we maintain those standards so your pet gets the best quality care possible.
Why does my pet need dental health care?
Imagine if you never brushed your teeth or had them cleaned. Scary, right? As you can guess, things would eventually start to go very, very badly inside your mouth. It’s the same scenario for your dog or cat. In fact, the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) estimates that by age three, most pets have some evidence of periodontal disease, which can cause mouth pain and tooth loss and make eating difficult. At advanced stages, bacteria from the mouth can enter the bloodstream and cause heart, liver, and kidney complications. At Red Hills Veterinary Hospital, we believe that good oral hygiene is integral to your pet’s health and longevity. That’s why we recommend that your pet have a full dental exam with x-rays annually, followed by an anesthetic cleaning or “scaling,” per AVMA guidelines.
Why is anesthesia necessary?
While there’s always some risk to putting any animal under anesthesia, the American Animal Hospital Association (AAHA) considers cleaning a companion animal’s teeth without general anesthesia unacceptable. In addition to the pain and stress it causes the pet, there are the very dangerous risks of accidental damage if patients move even slightly, as well as the possibility of accidental aspiration. As an AAHA-accredited facility, we adhere to these guidelines and only perform dental cleanings on anesthetized pets. By comparison, the risks of anesthesia are much more manageable, and we take every precaution necessary to minimize those dangers. One way we do this is to require a pre-operative blood screening for every pet scheduled for a dental procedure to ensure that the animal can safely undergo anesthesia. After your pet’s dental cleaning is complete, we take proper measures to ensure a speedy recovery which is why every pet is provided with a personal recovery nurse, post-procedure pain medication and antibiotics and anesthetic monitoring.
Prevention is Key
If you’re not already brushing your pet’s teeth, it’s never too late to start! Brushing your cat or dog’s teeth at least 2-3 times per week can be an important part of maintaining good oral health as it slows the progression of periodontal disease. Here are a few tips for making brushing easier:
1. Use finger brushes for cats and smaller dogs, as well as for getting larger dogs used to brushing if they’ve never had it done before. Before introducing a brush, try rubbing your pet’s teeth with your fingers to get them accustomed to the process.
2. Instead of standing over your pet, try kneeling or sitting in front of him or Practice lifting your pet’s lip to see their teeth and offer lots of praise and treats if he or she is cooperative. Stop if your pet begins to struggle or seems resistant.
3. Make sure you use toothpaste specifically for pets as opposed to human toothpaste which contains ingredients that can make them sick. Experiment with several flavors to find the one your pet likes best, then try offering a small amount on your finger or the brush as a treat before brushing.
4. Don’t give up! Daily brushing is best, but some brushing is better than none when it comes to plaque removal.
Pets who have difficulty with brushing can benefit from water additives, gels, and wipes from companies like Maxi/Guard (addisonlabs.com) and Healthy Mouth (healthymouth.com). You should look for the VOHC seal on dental products you choose, and a full list of products endorsed by the VOHC can be found on their website at vohc.org.