Dental care is vital to the overall health of any animal. Dental disease can lead to health issues with the heart, liver, and kidneys, and can affect the entire body through the bloodstream. In fact, 80 percent of dogs and 70 percent of cats over three years of age suffer from some form of dental disease, making it the most common pet health issue among our pet population.
In spite of these disturbing facts, many pet owners are not aware of the importance of dental care to their pet’s health. There are a lot of different ways to improve your pet’s dental hygiene, including home brushing, dental chews, and regular inspection.
The most effective way to protect your pet from dental disease is through professional cleanings. We perform thorough cleanings, including the area beneath the gums that you can’t see or access at home.
If your pet has brown/yellow teeth, bad breath, or is having difficulty eating, these could all be signs of dental disease. Please call us at (303) 850-9393 today to learn more and schedule your pet’s dental cleaning.
Anesthesia-Free Cleaning for Pets
Unfortunately, some lay people have tried to make a business out of cleaning pet’s teeth without anesthesia, playing on the owner’s fear of anesthesia. In my opinion, this is worse for the pet than doing nothing at all. Removing the visible tartar from above the gum line is only one of the twelve steps involved in a proper dental cleaning, and is not even the most important part. This is the only part of the cleaning that can be done in an “awake” animal, and it cannot be done very well.
Think of the degree of cooperation that you give the hygienist when you have your teeth cleaned. For 45 minutes you remain reasonably still while they scrape your teeth, having you spit out periodically. Imagine if someone tried to do this to you without explaining the process? Imagine if you had a painful area in your mouth as most dogs and cats do? Imagine how involved the cleaning would be if you did not ever brush your teeth, like most pets? How complete could the job possibly be? These people have no training in identifying or treating dental problems in pets. All they can do is remove, painfully, some of the tartar in your pet’s mouth. They cannot clean under the gum line (the most important part of the cleaning) or obtain any dental radiographs of problem areas. The reason it is worse than doing nothing is that it gives an owner a sense that the pet has been well cared for, in addition to leaving a very rough surface that actually promotes future dental disease. Proper dental care in animals requires general anesthesia, period!
Please view this link for further information: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tvzaUlDUAhU
(This article reprinted with permission from Dr. Tony Woodward, DVM, AVDC, Colorado Springs, CO)