Thanks to the outstanding care given by their owners, and the benefits of modern medicine, our pets are living longer, happier lives. It is not uncommon for dogs to reach 15 years of age and cats occasionally live past 20! With the increase in life expectancy, veterinarians are finding that pet’s dental care is a critical issue for two reasons:
The desire to preserve pet’s teeth during geriatric years and to prevent halitosis.
The desire to prevent many internal diseases (kidney, liver, heart) which begin when bacteria and toxins enter the bloodstream through a pet’s gum tissue. These disease processes often go undetected until a pet is seriously ill.
We at Town and Country Animal Hospital are recommending that all dogs and cats over 5 years of age (and some at even younger age) receive an annual dental cleaning and evaluation under general anesthesia. This is an outpatient procedure; your pet will have blood tests performed and receive pre-anesthetic medications first thing in the morning. Once anesthetized with a gas anesthesia (isoflurane), your pet’s gums and teeth will be thoroughly evaluated, calculus/tartar will be removed and the enamel will be polished. All of this is followed by a germ killing oral rinse and sealant. If loss of attachment of tooth to gum/gingival tissue is observed, it will be treated at this time. Any necessary extractions of diseased teeth will be performed as well. It is our recommendation that pets begin a short course of antibiotics 2 days before a dental procedure.
Some pet owners are apprehensive about dental cleaning because it involves anesthesia. Because we perform blood tests beforehand, monitor your pet’s vital signs during the procedure, and use gas anesthetics, we have very few complications. We honestly feel that the benefits of dentistry far outweigh the small risk of anesthesia complications.
Our staff will be happy to schedule your pet’s dental cleaning and answer any questions you may have concerning this procedure.