Wednesday 22 Mar 2023
The Importance of Dental Hygiene
Good pet dental hygiene is very important. It can prevent a lot of infections and pain for your beloved furry friend.
Our amazing vet, Ciara, talks us through a typical dental procedure here in The Irish Blue Cross, and give tips on how to keep your pets pearly whites sparkling!
What happens during a “dental” procedure:
Assessments for pet dentals are made on both our mobile clinics and in the Inchicore clinic during routine appointments. The vet will assess a pets need for a full dental exam and cleaning and discuss the process with their owner.
In order to have a complete dental exam and cleaning a general anaesthetic is required. This allows us to perform a pain and stress free assessment of every aspect of the teeth and gums including the teeth that are at the very back of the mouth – which are difficult to examine when the pet is awake.
Heavy calculus is removed and the gums are probed to check for recession. Any diseased teeth can be removed and the remaining teeth are ‘scaled and polished’ to thoroughly clean them.
The pet is given pain medication during the procedure and will usually go home on a form of pain relief for a few days after the procedure.
What can be done to prevent dental disease in pets:
Many pets will require a complete dental exam and cleaning throughout their lives, even if a pets teeth look ok there can be a lot of plaque and bacteria under the gum line.
At home brushing using a suitable toothbrush and dog specific toothpaste can help to reduce the level of dental disease that occurs. Please do not use human toothpaste, as this can be poisonous for your pet.
Specially formulated dental diets can also be used to reduce plaque formation.
The Veterinary Oral Health Council (VOHC) provides a comprehensive list of suitable products and chews for both dogs and cats;http://www.vohc.org/
Why is dental care important:
Just like ourselves dental disease can contribute to pain and infection. The bacteria can enter the bloodstream and contribute towards development of disease of other organs such as the heart, liver and kidneys.
Is my pet too old to have a dental:
Age is not a disease and dental disease can negatively contribute to the quality of life of our older pets. Any risks and strategies to reduce them can be discussed with your vet.
For more pet advice for your pet, please click here.