Oral and Dental Health

Dental care has become a staple in animal health and wellness, and not just for dogs and cats. All animals, from horses to ferrets, require a good oral exam annually and dental intervention occasionally. Consistent care prevents tooth decay and gum disease, to be sure, as well as the dreaded “doggy breath”.

Sadly, there are many negative consequences to ignoring oral hygiene in animals: poor nutrition due to inability to grind or chew foods; damage to heart, kidney, or liver from bacterial infections; weight loss; eye infections and vision impairment; chronic pain; and behavior problems. These difficulties are easily avoided by following a few precautions.

Regular cleaning of an animal’s teeth is just the beginning. Take time to look into your animal’s mouth to examine for healthy gums, intact teeth, and any abnormalities. You are your pet’s first defense in maintaining good oral health. Call us at once if you observe any of the following:

  • Bad breath
  • Broken or discolored teeth
  • Refusal to eat, especially dry food
  • Refusal to play with chew toys
  • Increase in drooling
  • Pawing the muzzle
  • Unusual discharge from the nose
  • Swelling or sores on the face, jaw, or around eyes
  • Mass or sores in the mouth
  • Sudden changes in behavior

Pets with dental problems may need to be sedated or anesthetized to treat them safely and humanely. We explain all the options and address any concerns you may have about such treatment and, as always, pain management for your animal is our top priority.

Various organizations offer in-depth information on this subject, such as the American Veterinary Dental College and the Academy of Veterinary Dentistry.