Routine dental care is an important part of the overall and oral health of both cats and dogs, however, most pets aren't getting the level of oral hygiene care they require in order to maintain healthy teeth and gums.
At Tri-County Animal Clinic, we offer pets in Louisa and the Tri-State area comprehensive dental health care, including dental exams, teeth cleanings and polishing and surgeries.
We also aim to provide all pet owners with dental health education including how they can implement at-home dental care for their cat or dog.
Cat and Dog Dental Surgery in Louisa
We know it's hard and overwhelming to hear that your pet needs dental surgery. We aim to make this process as stress-free as possible, for both you and your animal companion.
Our veterinary dentists will do everything they can to make sure your pet's experience with us is as easy and comfortable as possible. We will talk to you and break down every step of the process in detail before the procedure, including the requirements for preparation and post-operative care.
Some of the cat and dog dental care surgeries we offer include jaw fracture repair surgeries, tooth extractions, and gum disease treatments.
Teeth Cleaning & Exams For Pets
Going to ta veterinary dentist is much like you going to your annual dental checkup. Your pet should go to the vet for a dental exam at least once a year. Pets that are more susceptible to dental problems than others might require more frequent visits.
The veterinary team at Tri-County Animal Clinic is able to assess, diagnose and treat dental health issues in cats and dogs.
If you see any of the following symptoms in your pet, they will require a dental checkup.
- Bad breath
- Tartar buildup
- Discolored teeth
- Loose and/or broken teeth
- Extra teeth or retained baby teeth
- Bleeding from the mouth
- Reduced appetite or refusal to eat
- Pain or swelling in or around the mouth
- Abnormal chewing, drooling, or dropping food from the mouth
A thorough pre-anesthetic physical assessment will be done for your pet prior to the dental exam.
We will take blood and urine analyses to see if it's safe for your cat or dog to undergo anesthesia. Further diagnostics might also be performed.
As soon as your pet is under anesthesia, we will conduct a comprehensive oral examination (tooth by tooth) and charting.
Next, we clean and polish the teeth (including under the gum line). We then apply a fluoride treatment to every tooth.
The last step is to apply a dental sealant to prevent plaque from attaching to the enamel. If we find advanced periodontal disease, the veterinarian will establish a treatment plan and discuss it with you.
Ideally, we will schedule a follow-up examination two weeks after the initial assessment and treatment appointment.
At this visit, we will discuss implementing at-home teeth brushing. We can also recommend products that could help improve your pet's oral health.
FAQs About Pet Dental Care
Below are some of the most frequently asked questions from our patients about cat and dog dental care.
- Why do pets need their teeth cleaned?
Cats and dogs can develop periodontal disease or tooth decay as a consequence of poor oral health, just like humans.
When our pets eat, plaque sticks to their teeth and can build up into tartar if it's not brushed away regularly.
This could lead to infections in the mouth, periodontal disease, tooth decay, as well as loose or missing teeth. This makes regular dental care an essential part of preventing pain or disease in the gums.
- How can I tell if my pet has oral hygiene issues?
Did you know behavior can be an indication of oral health problems? If your pet is experiencing dental problems, they could drool excessively (drool could contain pus or blood), or you might see them pawing at their mouth or teeth. They may also excessively yawn, grind their teeth, or stop sufficiently grooming.
Other signs of oral health problems can include bad breath, swollen gums, and tooth discoloration. A handful of pets might stop eating if they are suffering from pain in their mouths. Read more about symptoms to the left under Pet Teeth Cleaning & Exams.
- What long-term problems can poor oral health potentially cause in my pet?
Other than problems such as cavities, bad breath, and severe periodontal disease, oral health issues, and conditions could also lead to disease in the liver, kidney, heart, and other areas in your pet's body.
Cysts or tumors may develop. Your pet might also not feel well in general. Also, diseases related to oral health conditions could even shorten the lifespan of your pet and cause significant pain.
This makes regular dental care so essential to your pets' physical health and wellbeing.
- What happens during a pet teeth cleaning appointment?
At your cat or dog’s regular oral exam, the vet will examine their mouth and look for any signs of oral health conditions or symptoms that require treatment.
The vet will clean tartar and other debris from your pet's teeth. If cavities, gingivitis, or other conditions need to be addressed, the vet will discuss it with you and provide advice on the actions you should take.
Sometimes, surgery will be needed to treat serious conditions. Your pet will be given anesthesia before their dental procedure to make sure they are comfortable and don't experience any pain. However, special care will be required post-surgery.
If you see any of these symptoms, call us immediately.
- What should I do at home to keep my pet’s teeth clean between dental appointments?
At home, it's important to brush your pet's teeth on a regular basis and give them dental chew toys to help eliminate plaque.
Don't let your pet chew on things that could damage their teeth, such as bones, toys, or objects that are too hard. Always contact your vet with any questions or concerns you have regarding your furry companion's oral health.
Veterinary Dentistry: Anesthesia & Your Pet's Oral Health
Animals don't understand what is happening during dental procedures, and they often react to dental procedures by biting or struggling.
Just like the anesthesia dentists give nervous or anxious humans, our Louisa vets give anesthesia to all of our pet patients prior to performing dental procedures. This puts less stress on your cat or dog and allows us to work on their mouth as needed.