Dental disease is very common in all animals at different stages of their life, it can cause lots of discomfort and pain. Brushing is the best option as all foods leave some plaque behind, which, if not removed by brushing will allow the formation of tartar. This allows bacterial ingress into the gums with subsequent gingivitis (infected gums) and possible periodontitis.
Dental care is not only for maintaining teeth in good condition but also preventing bacteria from spreading from infected gums to other vital organs and causing earlier deterioration (possibly, ultimately the pets’ death). A good example is a heart murmur where bacteria spread from the infected gums via the blood (bacteraemia) and localises on the heart valves causing a condition called endocardiosis (thickening of the valve), which then causes a heart murmur. Such spread can occur to the brain (causing damage to blood vessels), eyes (possibly causing eyesight problems) or to the kidney (where damage occurs and possibly the start of kidney failure).
Clients should brush daily their pets teeth using a pet toothpaste in chicken, beef or malt flavour which may make the task a little easier. Those pets that will not allow tooth brushing (often the older pets), can try a special gel that will help in slowing down calculus accumulation or try a specific dental diet (these are special diets that contain enzymes and have an abrasive action of the teeth). Regular checks with either a vet or nurse will ensure that your pet’s oral health is well maintained. Most pets, at some stage through their lives, will require dental treatment in the form of a teeth scale and polish. If any loose or diseased teeth are encountered they may have to be extracted.
All pets will require a general anaesthesia for veterinary dental treatment. These procedures generally are on a day-release basis. Please see Pre Operative Care under Services for further information