Van Lue Veterinary Surgical provides the highest quality veterinary care.
When we think about our pets’ health all too often we forget about a vital part of their wellbeing – their dental care. As a species that are routinely taught to brush our own teeth twice a day, we really ought to make more effort to ensure that our animals’ teeth are as healthy as our own. Some of the symptoms of poor oral care in pets include:
One of the primary causes of these problems is gum disease which sees bacteria-harbouring plaque and tartar accumulating on your pets’ teeth. This can in turn infect the gum tissue, causing pain and potential tooth loss. The bacteria can also enter the blood stream and cause damage to their internal organs, which untreated can lead to organ failure and eventually death.
Research has shown that dental disease is the primary health concern for cats, with around 70% of felines aged over 3 experiencing some form of dental problem. Between 4 and 6 months of age kittens lose their baby teeth and develop their permanent ones. Once the permanent ones are present your cat should have around 30 teeth.
Some of the symptoms of dental disease in cats include:
Blood in the saliva
Bleeding, red or swollen gums
Broken or missing teeth
Dental prophylaxis, otherwise known as a clean and polish, is the most routine dental treatment performed on cats. It usually takes around 60 minutes and there is no need for your cat to stay with us afterwards. Whilst all dental work requires that your pet has general anesthetic, the risks are minimal and we can perform a pre-anesthetic screening test if requested or required. Once your cat is under sedation we will perform an oral examination before commencing with cleaning and polishing. If any radiographs or extractions are required then we will do them at this time.
It is vitally important for you to carry on your cat’s dental care at home. There are a variety of brushing kits available that usually include a finger brush, small pet toothbrush and special toothpaste. Never use human toothpaste on your pets’ teeth. Make brushing your cats’ teeth an integral part of their daily routine to ensure that you are providing the best preventative care to dental disease possible.