Dentistry and Dental Care

I think we all know that our pets have teeth – they’re the things that let your dog destroy your plants and your cat carry the frog in from outside for your pleasure! As in humans, the health of their teeth and gums has a large impact on their overall health and quality of life. It is now well documented that proper dental care can add 2-4 years to your pet’s life.

Imagine how your mouth would feel and taste (and smell!) if you didn’t clean your teeth regularly. Imagine having a really bad toothache and not being able to tell anyone about it. Our pets feel pain just like we do, but are not always very good at telling us when they are uncomfortable or sore.  When they wake up in the morning they just get on with their lives as best they can with their sore mouth.

In most cases, owners are unaware that there is a problem, not because they don’t care about their pets, but because these problems are hidden away in the mouth. Most animals will continue to eat despite advanced disease.  Can you imagine how bad dental disease would have to get to make you stop eating for more than a day?  Your pet eats because it is hungry, so it will continue to eat despite the pain

Bad breath and subtle behavioural changes (such as reduced playing) are often the only hints until the pain becomes unbearable. Drooling, dropping food and reluctance to eat or be handled around the face are more obvious signs that something is wrong. Unfortunately for our pets at this stage their disease is very severe and it may take years for such signs to develop.

You will be amazed at the appearance and smell of your pet’s mouth after a dental, and also be surprised at their new lease on life, improved demeanor, and love for food once again!

Through our vet’s post graduate training, skills and equipment we are educated and equipped to recognise and treat all forms of dental disease, including those that are frequently overlooked. We can all work together to help achieve a comfortable mouth for every pet.

How do I know if my pet has dental disease?

Signs that your pet might be in need of a dental care might include any combination of bad breath, reluctance or difficulty chewing, chewing on one side, drooling, decreased appetite, face rubbing or pawing, reluctance to be handled around the mouth,or swelling around the face. Inside the mouth you may see red, swollen or bleeding gums, tartar accumulation, broken teeth, discolored teeth, loose teeth, or ulcers.

If you suspect a problem, it’s best to arrange a dental check for your pet with one of our veterinarians. It’s also worth keeping in mind that animals don’t always tell us when they are uncomfortable, so regular check ups are recommended whether you have noticed any changes or not.

Is dental treatment painful for pets?

While procedures such as dental cleaning and polishing are generally not uncomfortable (most of us have experienced this at our own dentist), treatment of periodontal disease, extraction of teeth and advanced treatments can cause pain for our patients.

All procedures are carried out under a general anaesthetic so your pet is not aware of and cannot feel what is happening. We minimise any postoperative discomfort by using an integrated pain management approach, which includes preoperative pain medication, local anaesthetic nerve blocks (just like human dentists!) and, when required, pain medication to take home after the procedure.

The majority of pets will be eating within several hours of recovery. In fact, most of our patients have been in moderate or severe pain for a period of time, and so rapidly feel much more comfortable once they have received appropriate treatment.

What can I do to keep my pets teeth clean?

Spending a few minutes a day caring for your pet’s teeth can improve your pet’s health, improve their breath, make them more comfortable, and save you money on treatment. Periodontal disease is caused by bacteria that accumulate on the teeth, causing inflammation, infection and damage to the sensitive oral tissues. Home care programs are usually targeted at slowing down plaque, which slows  down disease progression.  For example, easy-to-feed prescription diets that help prevent tartar recurrence are available. We offer you a peace of mind guarantee when you purchase these products, so that if your pet does not like the diet, you can return it for a complete refund.  There is also a very healthy water additive which also inhibits plaque formation and many patients have benefitted from this being added to their drinking water each day.  There are many other ways plaque buildup can be reduced, and not all solutions suit all patients or their owners, so we’ll work with you to create a program that works for them, and you.

Want more information on dental disease?

It is hard to give a full discussion of all the dental diseases and treatment options.  Please give us a call or make an appointment to bring your pet down for a dental examination and we can see what needs to be done, and give you some dental care solutions to allow you to keep your pets teeth healthy for life.

For more information on chewy diets to maintain your pet’s dental health, click here ##

Bones, (types/sizes) Chewy meat strip and chunks, squid,

Greenies Dental Chews

Many studies have shown that 80% of dogs over 3 years of age have some degree of peridontal disease. Peridontal disease develops when plaque accumulates on the tooth surface and becomes calcified into tartar. This process results in an the development of gingivitis, bone loss, tooth mobility and ultimately tooth loss. There are several ways of preventing dental disease developing and one of these is using Greenies Dental Chews.

Cleans Teeth We recommend that pet owners give their pet’s teeth the same level of care and concern that they give their own. Neglecting your dog’s oral health can lead to serious health issues that go way beyond the gum line, and can contribute to liver, kidney and heart disease. But it’s not easy! Most dogs don’t like having their teeth brushed unless they’ve been trained to accept it when they were puppies. Greenies dental chews can help. Used once a day, Greenies dental chews will keep your dog’s teeth sparkling and getting them to “brush” is never a fight when a product tastes as good as this one does.

Chewing Is Important Dogs need to chew! It’s part of their nature and is also important to their overall well-being. That’s because the more dogs chew, the more they work their teeth and mouth. This results in cleaner teeth, healthier gums and even fresher breath. Greenies dental chews are a marriage of two things that are important for the health and happiness of your dog – dental cleaning and chewing enjoyment! If you bend a Greenies dental chew, the first thing you’ll notice is how it flexes. It has a softer texture that allows your dog’s tooth to actually penetrate, which helps reduce plaque and tartar over a wider area of his tooth.

Edible, Soluble and Digestible. All Great Things! Greenies dental chews are 100% edible which means that there isn’t anything in it that your dog can’t eat and enjoy. Greenies dental chews are easy to digest and highly soluble (that means that they break down easily in the digestion process). The key to solubility lies in the proteins used to make the product. 4 high-quality, easily digested proteins are used as the building blocks of the dental chew. This protein combination gives Greenies its irresistible chewiness and is the reason why the product will break down quickly in your dog’s digestive system. In fact, scientists showed that after 24 hours in a simulated digestion test, a whole petite Greenies dental chew was reduced to absolute mush! Greenies dental chews are 95.7% digestible – that’s more than your average dry dog food (80-85%). That means that your dog’s body can easily utilize all those good vitamins and minerals.  The chewy texture of Greenies dental chews actually makes it easier for dogs to them into delicious little bits that are easy to swallow and digest. The chewy texture also helps control tartar and plaque build up doggie breath too!

Designed for All Dogs Who knew that the shape of a dog’s skull could affect the way it bites? It took a whole new way of looking at dogs to realise that a one-size-fits all approach to dental chews just wasn’t the right solution. Even though dogs have the largest degree of size variation of any species in the world, most dog treats and chews are designed with a one-type-fits-all approach. Pioneering research data uncovered distinct anatomical differences between different types of dogs. This research moved Greenies dental chews away from the industry standard to be the first dental chew designed to accommodate how different dogs naturally bite and chew. Traditionally, pet chews are designed strictly based on the size and weight of a dog. But research showed that it is the texture and shape of a dental chew are just as important as size when it comes to how dogs chew. The research that led to Greenies dental chews is based on in-depth biometric studies which analyzed canines unique physiologies, including anatomical differences between dogs of different body weight, shape, skull shape and bite force all factors that helped establish chewing patterns for each of the three major skull types. The data unveiled exactly how different dogs chew and how hard they bite, so even dogs with the weakest bite force could enjoy all the benefits of Greenies. This break-through research gave way to a new range of textures for Greenies dental chews. The result is a dental chew that maximizes the health benefits for all dogs, no matter their size or shape. Dog owners wont have a problem finding the right Greenies for their dog, because the biometrics are built into each of the five available chew sizes