May 8, 2018 TVAH

How Important is Your Pet’s Dental Care?

The idea of brushing your pet’s teeth may sound silly to some, and odd to others, or even possibly downright daunting, but it is truly, absolutely necessary for all cats and dogs! We here at TVAH are your partners in your pet’s health care, and our combined efforts toward proper dental care will leave your furry little ones all smiles.

Anesthesia Free Dental Cleanings Are Painful, Not Safe, And Are Ineffective. The AVMA, American Veterinary Medical Association, and the American Veterinary Dental College do not recommend dental cleanings without anesthesia because they do not allow cleaning below the gum line, where most dental disease occurs, and can result in injury to the pet or the person performing the procedure.

Your Pet’s Dental Health and Why it is Important: Dental health, we are all well aware of what we need to do for our own dental health with daily brushing, flossing, and mouth wash as well as the biannual cleaning by our dentist. But what about our pets? It’s common for their dental needs to be neglected, not because people don’t care, but because brushing a pets teeth can seem daunting and stressful. But that is why we are here! As a fear free practice, Temecula Valley Animal Hospital, can teach you how to brush your pet’s teeth in the most stress free manner. But why should you focus on brushing your pet’s teeth when you never have before. They seem fine and sure their breath stinks but isn’t that just normal for dogs and cats? The answer to this question is because it affects their health more than just on a dental level.

Complications of Poor Dental Health: We two legged animals who go to the dentist often take for granted how the build up of tartar and bacteria can affect our overall health. For pets however, whom may rarely get their teeth brushed, will develop a build up of tartar and plaque which contain bacteria. Not having regular deep dental cleanings will show signs of disease in more than just their mouths. In the mouth we will notice diseased tooth roots that can lead to abscesses, bone loss of the jaw, and resorptive lesions (primarily seen in cats and is very painful). The teeth that are affected by these often need to be extracted, which adds up to be costly but is necessary for your pets comfort and health. The same bacteria that diseases the teeth affects your pet’s internal organs. This bacteria has a direct line into your pet’s blood stream from the gum tissue. The gum tissue becomes very irritated and red, creates gingivitis, and bleeds easily. Just as blood flows from the gums, the bacteria can get into the blood stream via the same gum tissue. The bacteria travels through blood system and can build up in a variety of organs such as the kidney, liver, and heart. This build up can worsen or cause kidney disease, liver disease or heart disease. All of these diseases can shorten the lifespan of our beloved pets.

What YOU can do! Brushing your pet’s teeth is the best option for preventative dental health. There are also dental specific chews, water additives to decrease the bacteria in your pets mouth, oral rinses, and special dental diets you can also try. We at Temecula Valley Animal Hospital are always happy to go over these products with you as well as give you tips and tricks to make brushing your pets teeth at home as stress free as possible for both you and your pet.

What WE can do! Once a significant amount of tartar accumulates it requires an anesthetic dental cleaning to remove that pesky tartar and we at Temecula Valley Animal Hospital can help you with this! During a proper dental cleaning we scale and polish up underneath the gum line of each tooth, assess the health of each tooth, take a thorough mapping of your pets teeth for future comparison, and apply a fluoride treatment. Dr. Lara Downs and Temecula Valley Animal Hospital staff are aware of the fear of anesthetizing your pet and take the best precautions to make sure that your pet is safe while in our care. We are aware of the ability to get non anesthetic dental cleanings but please know that Temecula Valley Animal Hospital, the AVMA (American Veterinary Medical Association) and American Veterinary Dental College do not recommend anesthesia free cleanings. For more information on this subject please see future blogs.

Let’s Work Together! By bringing in your pet to Temecula Valley Animal Hospital for annual examinations we can help you know when it is time for a full dental cleaning, and/or what you can change at home to help improve your pet’s dental health. This includes advise on what products may work for your pet and how to make dental care positive for you and your pet. So bring your cat or dog into our fear free practice and let US help YOU to help YOUR pet live a long healthy life.

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