When your pet starts experiencing bad breath, be aware that this may be the first indication of dental disease. This stands true for any species, dog bad breath, cat bad breath, and even ferret bad breath. Bad breath is the earliest warning sign of dental disease.
Dental disease can wreak havoc on your pet’s well-being throughout the course of their lives. Many pets will continue to eat in silent agony. If your pet’s teeth are not properly cared for, your pet can harbor bacteria, develop tartar. Disease can progress rapidly. Once dental disease is initiated, the bacteria can then enter the bloodstream to transfer throughout the body infecting heart valves, lungs, and kidneys. These organs have little or no regenerative properties and may never recover leaving your pet vulnerable to organ failure.
The good news is that we can stop dental disease from occurring and progressing with good oral health care and routine dental cleanings. While current recommendations are unique to each individual, most Board Certified Veterinary Dentists believe that annual assessment and cleanings are the minimum. Any animal over 3 years old should have their teeth cleaned once a year. Older pets may need more frequent assessments and cleanings.
At LSAC, a vet performs a Complete Oral Health Assessment and Treatment (COHAT) on every visit. We first examine your pet for any pre-anesthetic concerns including a preoperative blood analysis. During this pre-anesthetic exam we can assess the oral health and get a baseline treatment plan. Once the teeth are cleaned and polished, radiographs (dental x-rays) are taken to look for any disease or concern not visible on external exam. The majority of dental disease occurs under the gingiva (gums). Without advanced diagnostic procedures, gingival disease is difficult to detect. If there are any concerns found on the radiographs, we will make you aware of them and decide together on the best treatment plan. Treatment plans may include orthodontic procedures and/or oral surgeries such as tooth extractions.
Our professional staff will work closely with you to provide advice on what you can do at home to prevent this silent disease. We want to give you the tools and techniques that work for your pet and keep your pet healthy for a lifetime! Take care of your pet’s mouth by committing to regular veterinary dental care.