DID YOU KNOW THAT
80% OF DOGS AND 70% OF CATS
show signs of gum disease by the time they reach 3 years of age, according to the American Veterinary Dental Society? That’s why Harlingen Veterinary Clinic recommends professional teeth cleanings at least once a year.
Since brushing your pet’s teeth isn’t as easy as feeding them, letting them outside for potty breaks, or cleaning a litterbox, dental care tends to be an overlooked element of pet care. However, pet dental care is just as important as any other component of health care. Why? Because gum disease and other oral infections that pets may develop can be very painful or even fatal if left untreated. Consistent home dental care, routine wellness examinations, and annual cleanings can help prevent oral problems, or prevent them from getting worse.
Here at Harlingen Veterinary Clinic, we offer dental cleanings for dogs and cats, including oral surgery (extractions, gingival surgery, etc.) when necessary. We perform all dental cleanings and surgical procedures while patients are safely placed under anesthesia. Another important service included with the dental visit is digital dental radiographs (X-rays), which allow us to view below your pet’s gumline.
Signs of Oral Problems in Pets
Just as with humans, the signs of teeth and gum problems in pets can be detected with the naked eye, or with your nose. We recommend that you regularly check your pet’s teeth and gums between visits to our clinic. The following is a list of common signs associated with oral infections in pets that you should check for:
Broken, loose, or missing teeth
Excessive chewing or drooling
Discolored teeth or tartar buildup
Swelling or bleeding in the mouth
Difficulty chewing or decreased appetite
Our experienced team of veterinarians and technicians will look for these same signs during every wellness exam and prior to every dental cleaning to determine the best treatment option.
Preventive Dental Care for Dogs and Cats
They say the best way to treat an illness is to prevent it. You can apply this philosophy to your pet’s dental health. We recommend that you start brushing your pet’s teeth as soon as possible using a pet toothpaste and pet toothbrush. The Veterinary Oral Health Council lists some recommended products to try. The Council also provides a list of products in the form of food and dental treats that can be used to supplement your pet’s dental care.
And remember, bringing your pet to Harlingen Veterinary Clinic at least once a year for a comprehensive wellness exam and dental cleaning is also a great way to be proactive about your pet’s oral health. We’ll be happy to discuss our findings and recommendations at your next visit here in Belle Mead.