At Crossroads Animal Hospital, we believe that dental health is a major part of preventative care to keep your pets healthy and happy. Because dogs and cats can't brush their teeth every day like we do, tartar can build up quickly and firmly adhere to the teeth, making dental disease the most common disease affecting dogs and cats. Unhealthy teeth and gums can cause chronic bad breath, mouth pain, drooling, bleeding, and even contribute to heart and liver disease.
In order to remove this tartar, we use an ultrasonic scaler and hand tools to remove the tartar from above and below the gum line. It is the goal of our practice for your pet to retain as many teeth as possible for as long as possible, but sometimes extraction is the only option to relieve pain or ensure that periodontal disease does not advance. If not extracted, many times a diseased tooth can compromise the surrounding tissue and neighboring teeth. After removal of the tartar and extraction of any teeth, they are polished and a fluoride sealant is applied to make the teeth more resistant to plaque build-up.
In order to make sure we get the teeth as clean as possible and do a thorough examination and cleaning, we must use full anesthesia during our dental procedures. Bloodwork and a full exam are always performed prior to any anesthesia to screen for any underlying issues that may affect how your pet handles the anesthesia. Your pets are closely monitored throughout the entire procedure, as well as administered IV fluids.
After dental cleanings, we highly recommend continuing your pet's dental care at home. A combination of daily brushing, dental chews, and Purina DH treats or food will help maintain dental health.
Our favorite dental chew is Oravet, a dissolvable chew that dogs love! Oravet contains a very similar ingredient to our fluoride rinse to help block bacteria and prevent plaque and dental calculus. The chewing action also helps remove any plaque that may already be present. It also tastes and smells like vanilla, so dogs enjoy it while freshening their breath at the same time!
February is National Dental Awareness Month
We are offering specials on dental cleaning procedures and products all month long. Please call our hospital for more details at (225) 261-6000.
If your pet is being admitted for dentistry, please withhold food the night before and morning of the appointment. Also, please remove your pet’s water dish the morning of the appointment. Pets will tolerate anesthesia better with an empty stomach and the risk of vomiting is reduced.