Dental health is a crucial component to maintaining the health of your dog or cat.
At Mayerthorpe Veterinary Services, we try to highlight the importance of preventative treatments for dental disease. Many dental issues can be prevented by regular brushing of your dog or cats teeth. The easiest way to make this part of your routine is to start as a puppy or a kitten. At a young age, animals are still learning what is "normal". If brushing can be introduced at an early age, a pet is more likely to accept it. No matter the age of the animal, with a little perserverance, most pets will accept tooth brushing.
Here is a video outlining the importance and demonstrating the technique to brush your pets teeth...
Dental disease is much more common in some breeds than others. In dogs, the general rule is that small breed dogs are more predisposed to dental disease than large breed dogs. When you bring your pet in for an annual examination, the Veterinarian will assess any dental disease your pet may have and make recommendations based on their findings.
Most often, owners complain that their pet has "bad breath". In many cases of severe dental disease, owners cannot see the severity of the problem because the teeth are encased in tartar.
Here is an example of a healthy dogs mouth
Here is an example of a 6 year old Border Collie with severe dental disease. The degree of disease is masked by the amount of tarter covering the teeth.
These pictures were taken before any tarter was removed...
These next pictures were taken after the tarter was partially removed by ultrasonic scaler...
These pictures are an excellent example of the dental disease that can be hidden by tarter. It also highlights the difficulty we can have estimating how many teeth may need to be extracted during a dental procedure. Until we remove the tarter and evaluate the teeth, the number of extractions expected and the degree of difficulty is merely an estimate.