Dental disease is very common in our pets. A high percentage of the dogs and cats we see have tartar buildup on their teeth, and gingivitis (inflamed gums) as a result of this. We recommend brushing your pets teeth daily, using a special pet toothbrush and toothpaste to help prevent dental problems. If your pet is not co-operative, dental chews, gum wipes, Plaqaid, (an additive you put in your pet’s drinking water) or an oral hygiene gel will help control tartar levels.
All pets having a dental at Withy Grove will receive a FREE sample of toothpaste, gum wipes or Plaqaid. We do not recommend feeding bones to clean the teeth as this can often lead to fractured teeth, and bones have the potential to cause intestinal obstructions.
How would your teeth look if you didn’t clean them or visit the dentist? The same is true for pets and it is estimated that 85% of pets over 3 years old have some form of dental disease.
Just as in our mouths, bacteria and plaque build-up on un-cleaned teeth irritating the gums and causing pain and infection. Alongside this the teeth are damaged worsening the pain. In the early stages there may be reddening of the gums, but pets often keep eating. Later there can be bad breath, weight loss, lethargy, decreased appetite, bleeding from the mouth and teeth becoming loose and falling out. A serious consequence of poor mouth hygeine is that harmful bacteria get into the blood stream through damaged gums which can lead to other potentially fatal diseases such as kidney failure, lung or heart problems.
Daily tooth brushing is most effective. This is often not easily accepted, but if you start early, puppies and kittens will get used to it. Older pets learn to accept brushing with a little patience. It is never too late to start. The best way of introducing cleaning is as part of a fun activity. Pet toothpastes are meat, biscuit or fish flavour making it a treat as well! The frothing agents in human toothpaste makes them unsuitable.
Even cleaning just once a week will make a difference but daily is best. Use special tooth brushes designed for pet’s mouths.
Biscuit foods help, their abrasive texture removes some plaque. There are some specific ‘tooth cleaning biscuits’ (for example Hills T/D) you can feed, as well as special dental chews. Do not use bones, they can crack teeth and cause gut problems.
Some dental chews can be high in calories or salt.
As well as toothpastes and brushes, we also stock Plaqaid and Gum Wipes which you can use to clean your pets mouth and teeth.
REGULAR CHECK UPS
Like us, pets benefit from regular DENTAL CHECK-UPS. We do these FREE OF CHARGE. They are extra important if you do not regularly brush your pet’s teeth. We will check your pets mouth at the annual vaccination appointment.
Rabbits teeth grow continually throughout their lives. Fresh vegetables and woody material for chewing helps keep these teeth clean and short, but a balanced diet is essential to provide the correct amount of calcium and minerals. Dietary deficiencies and hereditary problems with the shape of the jaw can lead to misshapen, overgrown teeth and inability to eat which need veterinary attention.
We have a modern air driven, ultrasonic dental drill, scaler and polisher, similar to that used in human dentistry. There is a dedicated dental area with specialist table. Under general anaesthetic we can scale and polish your pet’s teeth and also extract teeth if they are loose or severely diseased.
We offer free dental checkups with our nurses – they will examine your pet’s mouth and advise you accordingly on any dental care required. The staff can advise on mouth and tooth care for your pet at any time, but when we perform any dentistry, we will discuss long term dental care at a follow up appointment.