Pet Dental Care Services
The oral health of your furry friend has a significant impact on their overall health. Oral health is vital for your pet to have a happy life, and is often an overlooked aspect of their wellbeing. At Northlake Animal Hospital, we offer comprehensive anesthetic and non-anesthetic pet dental care services in Northlake and Lake Park as well as other neighboring communities. We believe in preventative dental care so much that we have included it into many of our adult pet wellness plans.
Why is Dental Care Important?
Dental care is important for both pets and humans. Periodontal (gum) disease is among the most common conditions we see in our pets today. Problems begin when tartar and plaque build-up and sit on your pet’s teeth. Plaque harbors harmful bacteria, which can infect the surrounding gum tissue. This can affect the roots of your pet’s teeth, resulting in painful disease and tooth loss. Additionally, the bacteria from the mouth can enter the blood stream through tiny blood vessels in the gums. This bacteria can travel to different organs, usually harming the vital organs with the highest blood flow: heart, kidneys, lungs, liver and even the brain. This can damage vital organs and shorten the lives of our furry friends. For this reason, it is essential to be mindful of your pet’s oral care.
At Northlake Animal Hospital, we believe that preventative dental care is the best way to prevent future dental and overall health problems. We recommend oral examinations twice a year, and dental cleanings once a year for your cats and dogs. Our complete physical exams include a thorough oral examination to ensure that your pet is healthy from teeth to toes.
Our comprehensive dental treatment plan includes full anesthesia, teeth cleaning (ultrasonic scaling and polishing) and full mouth digital dental x-rays for one affordable price. We are able to perform tooth extractions and minor oral surgeries as well. Rest assured that no matter what your furry friend needs, we have you covered!
Dental Care for Dogs and Cats
If your dog or cat has bad breath, don’t ignore the odor. Bad breath can be a sign of periodontal disease or a more serious oral health problem. Other signs of periodontal disease may be present but not obvious as obvious as bad breath.
Your pet may have periodontal disease if they experience:
- Bad breath (one of the first signs of dental disease).
- Discoloration such as a yellow/brown crust of plaque on the teeth near the gum line.
- Red or swollen gums.
- Decreased appetite or difficulty eating.
- Loose or missing teeth.
- Pawing at the mouth
- Pain or bleeding when eating or when the mouth or gums are touched.
NOTE: Your pet does may not be showing any of these signs and still could be suffering from dental disease.
Don’t wait if you think your pet has dental disease. Call us and schedule a consultation and dental exam right away. After examination, we will determine if your cat or dog requires an anesthetic or non-anesthetic dental cleaning. Anesthetic dental cleanings are necessary when your pet is showing signs of advanced dental disease. Full mouth dental radiographs are taken while your pet is under anesthesia and will reveal any signs of dental disease below the gum line. The non-anesthetic method, or not putting your pet under general anesthesia, is an effective option for preventive care especially in older patients. However, not all pets are suitable candidates for this procedure, and we will help you to determine which is the best option for your pet based on their overall health condition. Please see our resources page and look for “Pet Dental Services” for more information on non-anesthetic dental cleanings.
Feline Dental Care
Routine dental care for your cat is incredibly important. Cats have unique dental needs, as they are predisposed to dental diseases. Unfortunately, our feline friends can suffer from two very serious and painful diseases: stomatitis (inflammation of the gums) and a condition called Feline Oral Resorptive Lesions (FORL) aka “tooth resorption.” FORL sadly affects anywhere from 33% – 66% of cats and can lead to severe pain, decreased appetite and oral infection. Feline resorptive lesions can only be properly assessed using dental radiographs. For this reason, Northlake Animal Hospital recommends all our feline patients receive oral examinations every 6 months and yearly dental cleanings under anesthesia with full mouth X-rays.
Examples of Oral Disease in Pets:
Stage 1 Periodontal Disease (Gingitivis):
Stage 2 (early) Periodontal Disease:
Stage 3 (moderate) Periodontal Disease:
Stage 4 (severe) Periodontal Disease:
Feline Resorptive Lesions:
Benefits of Dental Cleaning
Before dental cleaning
After Dental Cleaning
Preventative Dental Home Care
Brushing your pet’s teeth can go a long way toward preventing dental disease. Some pets resist brushing but can be taught to accept or even like it, especially if you introduce brushing when your pet is a puppy or kitten. Northlake Animal Hospital recommends brushing your pet’s teeth once a day (or at least 3 times a week), but remember, any brushing is better than no brushing!
Step 1: First, choose a pet toothpaste your pet likes. There are fish, chicken, peanut butter and other flavors amongst available. Make sure you do not use human toothpaste and toothbrushes on your pet. You may need to try more then 1 flavor to find your pet’s favorite. Place a small amount of the pet approved toothpaste on your finger, and give it to your pet as a treat for several days. This lets your pet become accustomed to the toothpaste and associate it as fun and rewarding. Once your pet readily and regularly accepts toothpaste as a reward, use your index finger to mimic the brushing motion with the dose of flavored toothpaste.
Step 2: After about a few weeks, your bet should be comfortable with this practice. Next, introduce a pet toothbrush. We recommend using the finger toothbrush. Start by making small circular motions with the brush at a 45 degree angle, beginning at the back of the mouth. Usually eight to ten strokes are sufficient for any given area. Attempt to brush all sides of your pet’s teeth to the best of your abilities.
If brushing your pet’s teeth is not an option, we are happy to discuss other products and methods to ensure your pet has a lifetime of optimal oral health.
Protect Your Pet’s Oral Health Now with Northlake Animal Hospital
At Northlake Animal Hospital, we have a wide range of dental products including specialized dental diets, pet toothpaste and toothbrushes, dental chews, and more. We also have several pet wellness plans which include dental services to keep your pets in great shape throughout their lives. Northlake Animal Hospital is your one-stop-shop for all of your pet’s dental needs.
Whether you’re just looking to clean your pet’s teeth or think your pet needs serious dental care to help alleviate pain, you can count on the experienced and caring staff at Northlake Animal Hospital. Call us today to experience the difference at Northlake Animal Hospital!
To learn more about non-anesthetic dental procedures please visit our resources page and look for “Pet Dental Services.”