FEBRUARY IS DENTAL MONTH!
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Lake Hickory Veterinary Hospital is full-service and provides the latest medical and surgical procedures. Your pet will receive exceptional emergency, medical, surgical and dental services while under the care of our experienced staff. During surgical and dental procedures your pet is carefully monitored by qualified surgical assistants using state-of-the-art equipment to insure the safest possible anesthesia.
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Our Mission …
- To provide high quality health care for all life stages of small animal pets through individual and uniquely personalized veterinary care.
- We strive to educate our client animal owners and caregivers.
- Our Charter is a continued, unprecedented level of quality medical, and surgical skills, built on traditional preventative medical practices, comprehensive lab work, emergency services, and a solid medical referral system of specialized veterinarians for the best in care for your beloved companion.
- Our hospital consistently participates in continuing education practices for all veterinarians and staff members.
- Quality, caring healthcare for the life of your pet!
FEBRUARY IS DENTAL MONTH !!! BENEFITS OF GOOD DENTAL CARE: FRESHER BREATH – BETTER OVERALL HEALTH – LONGER LIFE
A NOTE FROM DR. GLANDER:
February is National Dental Month for our pets, so a review in pet dentistry is a good idea. Several years ago, the veterinary profession acknowledged the need of specialists in this area, so not there are Board Certified Veterinary Dentist who can help us in the care of our pets mouth.
Pet owners should start looking at their dog’s or cat’s mouth when they are young. You need to get them use to having their lips lifted up and their teeth checked when they are puppies and kittens, so that you can do it when they become adults. Teaching them to allow gentle inspection of the mouth allows you to look for foreign bodies, such as toys or treats, that can become stuck, and to check for loose teeth or broken teeth. Begin brushing their teeth early with special animal toothpaste or wipes so they can get use to you doing it. If your pet is older now, it is not too late… just slowly introduce them to the new process of touching and inspecting their mouth. It may take longer to train them, but well worth the time.
Both kittens and puppies begin losing their baby teeth when they are between four and five months of age. Their adult teeth will come in during this time. The chewing that they will do helps the baby teeth to come out and encourages the adult teeth to grow and replace them. Be sure you have safe toys and chew bones at this time, or your shoes could be the target of a chewing mania!
It is recommended that the first professional dental cleaning be around 2 years of age, although if a baby tooth is till in place at the one year checkup, a visit at a younger age may be warranted. At this time, your pet will be given a general anesthetic so they will sleep throughout the cleaning. This will allow the veterinarian to inspect the mouth fully. Broken teeth and retained baby teeth will be removed, after which the rest of the teeth are cleaned.
We now have digital dental x-ray that can detect any cracks or soon to be abscesses that can be dealt with at this time rather than waiting till there is an obvious problem which would require another dental in the future. Our goal with the digital dental x-ray is to catch any problems before they are major issues and avoid an extra cost to you whether it is another dental procedure, medicine, or issues with sinuses and organs. It also will avoid more general anesthetic for your dog or cat.
There are many dental products that can help you keep your pet’s mouth healthy. some foods and treats claim to help clean tartar off; one of the better ones is Hill’s Prescription Diet T/D. The mechanical action of chewing the food scrapes off the tartar. Aquadent is a concentrate that is added to the pet’s drinking water. By acting like a mouthwash, it helps to keep tartar off. CET oral rinse is squirted over the teeth and it then melts the tartar away. There is also a wide selection of tooth brushes and tooth paste designed for dogs and cats as well as wipes for teeth.
Keeping the mouth healthy is necessary because it can be a source of bacteria that can spread throughout the body. Because of the mouth’s blood supply, bacteria can enter the bloodstream and travel anywhere the blood takes it. The most common areas are the valves within the heart – the disease is called bacterial endocarditis. By sitting on the valves, the bacteria damage them which causes the heart not to function properly. From the valves, the bacteria can live and grow, then spread throughout the body. By spreading to the liver and kidneys, the bacteria can cause infections there, and decrease the function of these organs as well.
So take a look at your pet’s teeth. It may be time to call your Veterinarian and set up a dental cleaning.
HERE ARE SOME THINGS TO LOOK FOR:
Our pets do have teeth – and they can have dental problems.
- Oral disease is the most frequently diagnosed infectious disease in pets
- By the time they are 4 years old 85% of dogs and cats show signs of oral disease
- Dogs have 20 upper teeth and 22 lower teeth (42) – Cats have 16 upper teeth and 14 lower teeth (30)
SIGNS OF DENTAL TROUBLE:
- Bad Breath
- Red/bleeding gums
- Loose teeth – puppies lose their teeth between 4-6 month but adults should have their teeth until 12-13 years old
- Tartar buildup on teeth – brownish/whitish hard deposits
- Sensitive or painful mouth
- Reluctance to eat – especially hard food
- Broken teeth – if bad enough, could have root exposure (pain) and need a root canal or removal of tooth
- Extra teeth – if puppies or kittens do not lose their baby teeth, then dirt/hair/food can build up between the baby tooth and adult tooth
EFFECTS OF POOR DENTAL HEALTH
- Periodontal disease
- Liver, kidney or heart problems A- infections from the mouth enter the blood stream and go to these organs in the body. B- Heart problems – can become circulatory problems, so there is decreased blood flow to organs and problems. C- Kidney problems can become kidney failure
- Pain – can lead to behavior problems
- Bad breath
- tooth loss – bone problems (jaw bone can deteriorate and break easily)
- sinus infections – tooth roots go up into the sinuses
Lake Hickory Veterinary Hospital adheres to all local, State and Federal laws concerning health care, employment and sanitation.