Dental problems are very common in adult dogs and cats, affecting almost 90% of companion animals especially as they grow older. Periodontal disease can lead to a painful mouth and loss of teeth. Worse, if not treated, there’s a risk of the pet contracting chronic infections of the mouth and gums. These infections are dangerous because they can spread to other areas of the body, including the heart, liver, kidneys, and lungs. It’s a good idea to learn how to check your dog or cat’s mouth and teeth. Here are five signs of serious dental problems in dogs and cats.
Bad breath – Although doggie breath may seem normal, if your dog’s breath has an extremely strong, unpleasant odor, this may be an indication of a serious health issue.
Red, swollen or bleeding gums – Inflammation of the gums may be a sign of gingivitis/stomatitis. To read about this condition in dogs, click here – and in cats, click here.
Increased drooling – Although saliva helps protect the teeth, dental problems can result in excessive drooling in dogs. A drooling cat is usually an indication of poor dental health.
Plaque buildup – If yellowish-brown plaque-like deposits and tartar on the teeth continue to build up, infections can develop around tooth roots.
Reluctance to eat – Difficulty in eating may occur because chewing food is painful. This will also eventually show up as weight loss.
What Happens if My Pet Needs Pet Surgery for Dental Trouble?
Your vet will do a preliminary exam of your pet’s mouth and teeth. If dental disease is indicated, the next step to determine the severity of the problem is to have X-rays taken. Because the taking of X-rays involves anesthetizing your pet, you will need to consent in advance to whatever level of treatment and pet surgery is indicated by the result of the X-Rays. After all, you don’t want your pet to undergo anesthesia twice.
What Does Pet Surgery for Dental Problems Involve?
Treatment will involve an ultrasonic dental scaling to remove plaque and tartar. If the X-Rays show tooth infections, pet surgery will remove the infected teeth. Antibiotics may be administered.
How Can I Prevent the Necessity for Pet Surgery?
The best way to prevent dental problems is to brush your pet’s teeth regularly to help prevent tartar and plaque buildup. For some pets this will, of course, be difficult to do – every try brushing a cat’s teeth? It can be done – click here for some tips. Buy toothpaste that contains enzymes to help prevent buildup of plaque. There are alternatives to brushing – find some oral hygiene products by clicking here.
The long-term health of your pet depends on good dental care. Beginning with preventative measures when your pet is a puppy or kitten will go a long way to keeping periodontal disease at bay. However, if your adult dog or cat does develop dental problems, don’t ignore the situation – take your canine or feline friend to your vet for a dental exam. For any emergency problem that may need pet surgery, CVETS in Columbia, South Carolina is here to help your pet. We have surgeons skilled in all kinds of emergency pet surgery so don’t hesitate to bring your pet to us.