At Goose Creek Veterinary Hospital, we take a special interest in understanding and improving the dental health of the animals in our care. Dental wellbeing is just as important for our pets as it is for us. They rely on their teeth for biting and eating, and for them, their teeth are also important tools that they can use to pick up and hold objects, and in some instances, to destroy their prey.
Also, like us, if our pet has poor dental health, it can have a significant impact on her overall health and wellbeing. This is because there is one major dental condition that is more likely to affect our animals than any other – periodontal disease. In fact, studies have shown that around 70% of cats and dogs will develop some degree of periodontal disease by the time they reach three years old.
What is pet periodontal disease?
Just like the human version of gum disease, pet periodontal disease occurs when plaque that accumulates on their teeth is allowed to grow and spread beyond them, on to the gums. The bacteria in the plaque causes irritation, soreness and eventually infection. This makes unpleasant symptoms such as bad breath, pain and tooth loss very likely. Eventually, if left untreated, the infection can spread from the gums into the bloodstream and pass around your pet’s body, affecting her organs.
Veterinary experts have uncovered a definitive link between pets who have periodontal disease and those that also suffer from chronic health problems including diabetes, heart disease, high blood pressure, kidney and liver issues and some types of cancer.
What are pet dentistry services?
Now we have established just why pet dentistry is so important, it is time for us to tell you a little about the services that we can provide that will help to maintain your pet’s dental health and wellbeing and reduce the likelihood that she will suffer from associated conditions.
Dental check-ups typically form part of your pet’s preventative care, but they can be conducted at any time. Normally this is carried out under a general anesthetic, which gives our trained and experienced veterinarians sufficient time and access to perform a truly comprehensive check of the health and condition of your pet’s teeth. If there is anything that we are concerned about, we may be able to treat this at the same appointment, and this could prevent the issue from worsening and requiring more substantial treatment. We can also use our findings to provide continual monitoring of your pet’s oral health including the condition of her mouth. This can be used to compare future examinations to so that we can identify any developing problems early and treat them promptly.
Professional dental clean
A professional-grade dental clean is also often performed at the same time as your pet’s dental check-up. This is because again, uncompromised access and plenty of time is needed to ensure that we carry out a truly comprehensive clean, reaching all of those areas that it is simply impossible for an owner to reach with a toothbrush at home. Annual or semi-annual professional cleans can help to prevent many dental problems, including periodontal disease.
A comprehensive list of pet dental services
Other pet dental services that we can provide, depending on the requirements of your pet, include:
Again, virtually all of our dental services are carried out using a general anesthetic. We understand that some owners may have concerns about the use of anesthetic, but in our experience, we have found that it actually significantly increases the safety profile of each procedure, since your pet will remain completely still and compliant. It also makes the process far less stressful and will prevent subsequent fear of the dentist since your pet will have no recollection of their time under anesthetic. Every pet is thoroughly assessed for their suitability for general anesthetic before undergoing any procedure, and they are monitored as closely as any human being given general anesthetic would be.
If you are interested in learning any more about any of our dentistry services, or if you would like to arrange an appointment for your beloved pet, please don’t hesitate to contact our offices in Ashburn, VA today by calling 703-777-5755.