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Gingivitis and periodontal disease affect a large percentage of cats and dogs. We urge pet owners to take action for their pets’ dental health. The same bacteria that can destroy a pet’s teeth, gums and dental support structures can also damage the heart, liver and kidneys if they enter the bloodstream. Manor Veterinary Hospital recommends that pet owners brush their pets’ teeth daily and bring them in for a thorough pet dental check up once a year. This is as critical for preventative healthcare in pets as it is for humans, and is particularly important for senior care.

Pet Dental Care:

Critical Preventative Medicine for Cats and Dogs

Dental MachinePeriodontal disease in pets starts the same way as it does in humans: bacteria. Every day, a thin film of plaque builds up on the teeth. Comprised of food particles, bacteria and saliva, this plaque can be removed with daily brushing. If not brushed away, however, it hardens into tartar. Tartar becomes a breeding ground for more bacteria, which then invades the gums and can cause disease.

If your pet has bad breath, has lost his or her appetite, paws his or her face or seems to be in pain, please call our office for a pet dental appointment. This is particularly important for senior care, as older pets’ immune systems are weaker than younger pets. Regular pet dental care is just as important, as a preventative medicine measure for cats and dogs, as their scheduled checkups.

During a pet dental checkup, our veterinarians, along with a trained technician, will evaluate, ultrasonically clean and polish your pet’s teeth under general anesthesia. We can also perform extractions, if necessary, with multimodal pain control. Before these procedures, we can perform a pre-anesthetic diagnostic blood panel and EKG to detect any underlying health conditions that could complicate the anesthetic process. This screening is required for any pet 7 years or older, but is optional for younger pets.  During and after each procedure, an experienced veterinary technician will continually monitor your pet’s vital signs.

In addition to these annual dental checkups, we will be happy to show you how to care for your pet’s teeth at home. With patience, praise and consistency, almost all cats and dogs can be trained to enjoy at home dental hygiene. We can recommend a special toothbrush and toothpaste designed for your pet. Do not use human toothpastes—they contain ingredients harmful to pets—and pet toothpastes come in flavors pets enjoy. We can also suggest dental treats and other dental care products if necessary.