All Pets Veterinary Hospital will be running a pet dental month promotion throughout September to raise awareness of pet dental problems, prevention and treatment.
Four out of every five dogs and cats over the age of three years have some sort of dental disease which becomes more severe with age. This can be a real problem for pets and owners because it can lead not only to pain, but also to more serious problems such as illnesses related to the heart, liver and kidney.
You should check your pet’s teeth regularly as pets often won’t show pain. Even pets with sore gums, an infected mouth or broken teeth will continue to eat, so you may not notice they have problems. Dogs are pack animals and showing weakness is not part of their nature. They need to eat to survive so won’t go off their food until the pain is unbearable.
Signs of toothache or an infection in the mouth to look out for in cats and dogs include bad breath, red and inflamed gums and stained teeth. Your pet may also start dropping food when they are eating.
It’s important that pets have regular health checks at the vet. Dogs and cats age much more quickly than humans, and it’s important to catch problems early if you want to ensure a long and happy life for your companion animal. Checking your pet’s teeth will be part of your annual health check. Dental checks are an ideal opportunity for owners to find out if their pet has an existing problem which has gone unnoticed. Dental checks also help ensure bacteria and poisons from dental infections do not spread to the heart, liver and kidneys through the bloodstream.
Dental disease is much easier to treat in the early stages, when the changes can be reversible with proper treatment. With more advanced dental disease, extraction of affected teeth is often required.We recommend regular tooth brushing. Tooth brushing is safer and more effective than chewing and many dogs and cats can be trained to enjoy having their teeth brushed, especially if started when they’re young. We also recommend feeding a diet that helps to brush the teeth as your pet chews (Hills Vet Essentials, or if existing dental disease is present, Hills t/d prescription diet). Dental chews such as Greenies are also helpful. When choosing dental products, look for the VOHC (Veterinary Oral Health Council) seal of approval, these products have been tested and found to be effective for dental care in pets. Although bones are a popular treat that you may be using for dental care, they can cause problems such as broken teeth and gut obstructions.
It’s never too late: seniors need dental care too.As our pets age, their immune systems become less effective at fighting off bacterial and viral diseases. Worn or missing teeth may affect their ability to chew their food and may lead to upset stomachs or regurgitation. Seniors often soldier on hiding their oral pain until it becomes unbearable. Our senior pets are more likely to develop more severe forms of gum disease, tooth resorptions, and some unlucky pets will develop oral masses.
Regular dental checks with a thorough whole body/oral examination every 6-12 months will help minimise the risk of oral disease as well as:
• Active Homecare and dental friendly diets and chews
• Professional cleans and where necessary tooth extractions. Often blood and urine testing is required prior to general anaesthesia.
For the month of September All Pets is offering FREE dental check-ups with one of our qualified veterinary nurses. They will discuss options for dental homecare and help work out the best options for you and your pet. If dental disease is present, dental treatment under anaesthesia may be recommended (scale and polish, and if necessary extractions).
We will also be offering reduced price treatments for pets with early dental disease (gingivitis and/or mild tartar). For patients with early dental disease, the total price for a general anaesthetic, dental scale and polish, and hospitalisation will be $295 during September 2015 (pre-anaesthetic blood testing and intravenous fluids are not included in this price but are also offered). If your pet has more severe tartar build up, or if extractions of teeth are likely to be required, one of our vets will provide you with an estimate for treatment.
If you would like to book in for a free dental check-up with one of our nurses please call us on 8948 0056 to make an appointment.