Checking your petís teeth could put an end to silent pain

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Tuesday, January 19, 2021

Just like people, pets need to be checked yearly for dental issues. Often, dental exams identify the root of underlying problems and might end your petís silent pain.

It is convenient for our clients to schedule their petís dental exam during the same time they make yearly checkups. However, your petís teeth should be checked sooner if you notice any of the following:

* Bad breath

* Broken, loose or extra teeth

* Discolored teeth

* Abnormal chewing, drooling or dropping food from the mouth

* Reduced appetite or refusal to eat

* Pain, bleeding or swelling in or around the mouth

Be careful when evaluating your petís mouth. Even though he or she adores you, a pet in pain can bite. During the dental cleaning, your pet will undergo anesthesia. Most patients will not hold still for tartar removal, and if underlying pain exists, anesthesia allows your pet to rest during the procedure. Plus, a thorough exam and X-rays might reveal severe problems that cannot be treated without anesthesia or need to be addressed by us immediately.

According to the American Veterinary Medical Association, your pet will likely show some early signs of periodontal disease by the time he or she reaches 3 years old.

This can get worse as your pet grows older. If left untreated, other problems could result such as changes in your petís kidney, liver and heart.

It is imperative pet owners schedule dental exams with their veterinarianís office. Hereís a bonus: February is National Pet Dental Month. Often, many clinics, like ours, will offer special discounts at that time to encourage pet owners to schedule these important exams.

After dental cleanings, our clients most commonly report immediate fresher pet breath, which makes everyone happier. Additionally, we often hear clients say their adult pets are playing like puppies and kittens again, after we have helped put an end to that oral pain with a simple dental cleaning!

Dr. Loni Patke is a veterinarian at Cape Small Animal Clinic.