Valparaiso Animal Hospital

815 Calumet Ave. Suite 1
Valparaiso, IN 46383

(219)462-1862

www.valpovets.com

Has your pet been in to see the dentist? Dental care in pets is just as important as it is for people. 80% of dogs and 70% of cats have oral disease by the age of 3 years. It is the most common health problem pets get. Dental disease not only causes pain, but also affects internal organs as well. The bacteria that resides in a dirty mouth will end up in the bloodstream and has been known to cause kidney infections, liver disease, lung disease, and heart valve disease. 

The best treatment is prevention! Just like people, pets can have their teeth brushed too! We recommend using a special toothpaste that is safe to be swallowed. Many times they love the taste of their toothpaste as they can be flavored anywhere from peanut butter to tuna. Often we start by just finding a flavor the pet likes and letting them lick it off your finger. From there you can rub your finger over their teeth and gums. Getting a pet used to having fingers in their mouth can be a learning curve, but many tolerate it very well since they get a tasty treat out of it! There are rubbery brushes that can fit over your finger to aid in the "brushing effect". After pets are used to having finger brushes cleaning their teeth, it is not a hard transition to move to special pet toothbrushes. These brushes are angled differently to allow easier access to all of your pet's teeth. They also have soft bristles that a human toothbrush would.

Besides brushing your pet's teeth there are also many other things you can do to keep your pet's mouth healthy. T/D is a specially designed, nutritionally balanced prescription food that we recommend to patients who have chronic dental disease (breeds that are predisposed include: dachshunds, greyhounds, chihuahuas, and poodles). 

Besides T/D there are also special treats and chews that help remove tartar and prevent it from building up. Sometimes the treats and toys have the toothpaste built in!

Sometimes your pet may need a dental cleaning just like you would at your dentist office. Unfortunately this does require anesthesia as pet's don't sit very well to have the tartar scaled off their teeth. Before every dental procedure we send out bloodwork to evaluate your pet's internal organ function. This allows us to tailor the safest anesthesia for your pet. During the procedure we have a dedicated anesthetist who monitors your pet's vital signs the whole time. 

Full mouth dental radiographs are done to see if there is any bone loss or infection underneath the tooth's surface.

We also probe the gum line looking for any pockets or abnormalities. Often food, hair, and bacteria get trapped under the gum line which causes deterioration of the bone and soft tissue.

After all of the tartar has been taken off and the necessary teeth extracted, we apply fluoride to your pet's teeth. The fluoride helps strengthen your pet's enamel to help prevent the deterioration of the tooth.

Any time we extract teeth we send home pain medicine. We also may send home an antibiotic if we feel there is an infection that warrants it. We do recommend keeping your pet on soft food for several days after extractions but you will be surprised at home quickly they go back to eating hard food!

 

If you have any questions or would like to schedule a dental don't hesitate to give us a call!