Cat & Dog Dental Care
Routine pet dental care is fundamentally important to maintaining your dog or cat's overall health, unfortunately, it is a commonly overlooked aspect of pet health care.
At our Medford veterinary hospital, we provide complete dental care for your pet, from basic dental exams or teeth cleanings, and polishing to dental X-rays and surgeries.
We also make a point of providing dental health education to pet owners about home dental care for their pets.
Pet Dental Surgery At Siskiyou Veterinary Hospital
It can be troubling to learn that your pet needs dental surgery. We aim to make this procedure as worry-free as possible for both you and your pet.
We do our part to make sure your pet enjoys a comfortable and easy experience. We break down the procedure for you in detail, from preparation to post-operative care guidelines.
We offer services such as jaw fracture repair surgeries, tooth extractions, and gum disease treatment for dogs and cats.
Pet Teeth Cleaning & Exams
Much like your annual checkup at the dentist, your dog or cat should come in for a dental examination at least once a year. Pets who are more prone to dental problems than others may need to see us more often.
Siskiyou Veterinary Hospital can assess, diagnose and treat dental health problems in cats and dogs.
If you notice any of the following symptoms in your pet, it's time for a dental checkup.
- Bad breath
- Loose and/or broken teeth
- Discolored teeth
- Bleeding from the mouth
- Tartar buildup
- Pain or swelling in or around the mouth
- Reduced appetite or refusal to eat
- Abnormal chewing, drooling or dropping food from the mouth
- Extra teeth or retained baby teeth
A thorough pre-anesthetic physical assessment will be completed for your pet before the dental exam.
We will send off blood and urine for analyses to ensure it's safe for your pet to undergo anesthesia. Additional diagnostics, such as chest radiographs or an ECG may also be conducted.
Once your pet is under anesthesia, we will conduct a complete oral examination (tooth by tooth) and charting.
Next, the teeth are cleaned and polished (including under the gum line), and X-rays are taken. We then apply a fluoride treatment to each tooth.
The final step is to apply a dental sealant to prevent plaque from attaching to the enamel. If advanced periodontal disease is found, the veterinarian will develop a treatment plan and discuss it with you.
Ideally, a follow-up examination will be scheduled two weeks after the initial assessment and treatment appointment.
During this visit, we will discuss implementing teeth brushing at home. We can also recommend products that can help improve your pet's oral health.
FAQs About Pet Dental Care
Here are some of the most frequently asked questions from our patients about pet dental care.
- Why do pets need their teeth cleaned?
Our pets can develop periodontal disease or tooth decay as a consequence of poor oral health.
Just like in humans, when animals eat, plaque can build on their teeth and can develop into tartar if not brushed away regularly.
This can lead to infections in the mouth, periodontal disease, tooth decay, and even loose or missing teeth. That's why regular dental care is essential to preventing pain or disease in the gums.
- How can I tell if my pet has oral hygiene issues?
Did you know behavior may be an indication of oral health problems? If your pet is experiencing dental problems, they drool excessively (and the drool may contain pus or blood), or you may notice them pawing at their mouth or teeth. They may also yawn excessively, grind their teeth, or stop grooming sufficiently.
Other signs of oral health problems include bad breath, swollen gums, and tooth discoloration. Some pets may even suffer from pain that keeps them from eating. Read more about symptoms to the left under Pet Teeth Cleaning & Exams.
- What long-term problems can poor oral health potentially cause in my pet?
Besides causing problems ranging from cavities and bad breath to severe periodontal disease, oral health issues and conditions can lead to disease in the liver, kidney, heart, and other areas throughout your pet's body.
Cysts or tumors may develop. Your pet may also not feel well in general (if you've ever had a toothache, you know how it can change your mood!). In addition, diseases related to oral health conditions can shorten the lifespan of your pet and cause a great deal of pain.
This is why regular dental care is so essential to animals' physical health and wellbeing.
- What happens during pet teeth cleaning appointments?
During your pet’s regular oral exam, the vet will examine his or her mouth and look for oral health conditions or any symptoms needing treatment.
The vet will clean tartar and other debris from your cat's or dog's teeth. If cavities, gingivitis, or other conditions need to be addressed, the vet will explain these to you and provide advice on which actions you should take.
In some cases, surgery will be needed to treat serious conditions. Your pet will be provided with anesthesia before their dental procedure to ensure they are comfortable and do not experience any pain. However, special care will be needed post-surgery.
If you notice any of these symptoms, schedule a dental appointment with us.
- What should I do at home to keep my pet’s teeth clean between dental appointments?
At home, you should be brushing your dog's teeth frequently and giving them chew toys designed for good dental health. These will prevent plaque from building up on your dog's teeth.
Do not allow them to chew on things that will damage their teeth, such as bones, toys or objects that are too hard. Always contact your vet with any questions or concerns regarding your pet's oral health.
Veterinary Dentistry: Anesthesia & Your Pet's Oral Health
As smart as our pets are, they aren't able to understand what is happening during dental procedures and will often struggle or bite.
Similar to anesthesia offered to anxious and nervous patients by dentists, our vets give anesthesia to all our pet patients during dental procedures. This allows us to perform procedures and take X-rays of their mouth while putting less stress on your pet.