We do our best to protect against catastrophe, but there are potential hazards hidden around every corner. That’s why we purchase insurance, stock up on emergency supplies, and always have a full tank of gas. It’s a fact of life that what we can’t see, can always sneak up on us.

This is true with regard to your pet’s health as well. Your pet might appear to be the picture of wellness and vitality, but after a closer look beneath the gum line results could prove otherwise. Pet dental health is positively at the forefront of preventative care, and we can help!

Red Flags

Over time, your pet’s pearly whites will decline without regular maintenance. You may begin to notice an unmistakable odor emitting from their pet’s mouth: kitty or doggie breath. This is a red flag that some form of dental disease is present in the mouth, which can affect your pet’s health and lifespan. But, it’s never too late to get a jumpstart on pet dental care.

Just One More Reason

Aside from the other health benefits that stem from annual wellness visits, close examination of your pet’s teeth and gums is an important component. We look for any accumulation of plaque and tartar, inflammation, bleeding gums, and any indications of broken or fractured teeth.

Since a majority of cats and dogs over the age of three have some form of periodontal disease, digital radiographs and professional dental cleanings are common steps toward proactive pet dental care.

Anesthesia Free? Nope!

We understand a cautious approach to dental cleanings under anesthesia. However, the advantages to treating dental problems while under anesthesia far outweigh any potential risks.

For starters, while a pet is anesthetized, we can achieve a set of full mouth x-rays that reveal the health of the teeth under the gumline and where the majority of severe dental disease and pain occurs. This is not possible when an animal is awake, stressed, and frightened.

It’s also important to note that anesthesia free dental cleanings:

  • Do not address problems below the gum line
  • Can be painful or uncomfortable for the animal
  • Do not zero-in on issues that develop into painful and expensive problems down the road
  • Cannot thoroughly identify other painful oral conditions

Professional Pet Dental Care

Our primary concern is the health and comfort of your pet and delivering professional pet dental care. We run pre-anesthesia blood work to ensure that your pet can safely withstand the procedure. Your pet receives an IV catheter and fluids to maintain blood pressure, and we constantly monitor vitals with state of the art monitoring equipment. We use warmers to keep the patient warm and comfortable during the cleaning.

We design each patient’s anesthetic protocol based on that animal’s needs, pain level and risk factors. A typical cleaning includes scaling above and below the gum line, and polishing. If any teeth need to be removed, local pain blocks will be administered. We also provide pain medication both during the procedure and afterwards.

At Union Lake Veterinary Hospital, we book a limited number of procedures each day as our focus is on quality. We assign a team of 2-3 people working on each dental cleaning patient to monitor, perform the procedure, help with films, etc. During recovery, a team member sits with each patient until they are able to sit up under their own strength and we know they are fine.

Long Term Investment

Periodontal disease can lead to systemic illness, such as heart or kidney disease. Taking care of any problems in the mouth before they get out of hand is the best way to keep your pet healthy, strong, active, and happy. With consistent care at home and regular professional cleanings, we can achieve better health for your pet.

If you have any questions or concerns regarding pet dental care, we encourage you to contact us.