Dental Care Is Important for Dogs & Cats
Studies have shown that 80% of our dogs and cats have some form of periodontal disease by 3 years of age or older. If left untreated, they can be painful and lead to other health issues related to heart and kidneys. We all want our pets to have a long and healthy life and oral health plays a major role towards that goal. Oral health and hygiene are just as important for pets as it is for humans. Annual dental exams and cleanings are recommended to keep our pets healthy.
During your visit to the Boulevard Veterinary Hospital, our veterinarian will thoroughly examine your pet's mouth for plaque on teeth, discoloration, broken/fractured teeth, abscess, and oral tumors. Most pets older than 3 years require teeth cleaning once a year. For teeth cleaning your pets are anesthetized and using an ultrasonic scaler their teeth are cleaned and polished. While anesthetized, a thorough oral exam and full-mouth x-rays are done. Based on the oral x-rays and exam findings, our veterinarian will discuss with you if any extractions or further treatment is necessary.
Home Dental Care
Home dental care plays an important role in keeping our pet's teeth clean. Brushing their teeth every day is ideal, but not all our pets are so cooperative. It is recommended to brush as best as possible and as frequently as possible. Teeth brushing should begin as early as 12 weeks of age, so they get used to it at an early age. Starting teeth brushing after they have a dental disease can be painful and our pets may not be cooperative. If brushing is not started at an early age, we recommend having your pet's mouth examined to make sure they do not have any infections, fractured, or abscessed teeth. Giving your pet dry food, dental chews and dense rubber toys help in keeping their teeth clean. We do not recommend giving your pets any natural bones, cow hooves, antlers or nylon toys as they can be very hard on their teeth causing fractures. Please visit www.VOHC.org for an updated list of safe dental treats for your pets.
What to Look For
Our pets cannot tell us when they have bad teeth and are in pain, so it is important to pay attention and notice any changes in their behavior. Most of the time they adapt to the chronic pain and continue to eat their food. Oral pain is the same for pets as in humans. If the dog [cat suddenly is not eating but looks at his food, that could mean his teeth are hurting. Unexplained weight loss may also be due to painful teeth. Some of the important signs of dental disease include:
Come See Us
If you notice any of these symptoms schedule a dental care exam with Boulevard Veterinary Hospital in Norfolk. Remember to schedule a yearly dental exam, and call us if there are any questions regarding home dental care and estimates for dental cleanings. We serve the entire Virginia Beach-Norfolk area and we want to keep your pets healthy and happy.