Feline Dental Care 101

Your cat can’t reach for a toothbrush after eating, so he or she relies on you for dental care. Your veterinarian can help with cat teeth cleaning services, but there are also some things you can do at home to keep your cat’s mouth healthy. Keep these tips in mind to reduce the risk of dental disease in your cat.

Start Early

Most cats will allow you to clean their teeth either with a toothbrush or your finger with some practice, but the earlier you start this habit, the easier it will be for your cat to adjust. Start off slowly, and reward your cat for every successful brushing, even if it is only partially successful. Try using a small feline toothbrush, or start with using your finger to rub the teeth and gums and working your way up to the toothbrush. Keep in mind that human toothpaste can be toxic to animals, so ask your veterinarian to recommend a product designed for cats.

Get Regular Checkups

Visit the veterinary hospital regularly for routine dental checkups for your cat. During a dental exam, the vet will look for signs of tooth decay, gum disease, and oral cancer. He or she can also perform feline teeth cleaning services on follow up visits. Regular exams let your vet catch any dental problems in early stages, when they are easier to treat. Your vet can also make dental health recommendations during these visits, such as advice for cleaning your cat’s teeth at home and choosing foods that support good oral health.

React Quickly to Symptoms

Cats are adept at hiding pain, but if your pet has an oral health problem, there are some signs you can recognize at home. Consider calling the veterinarian for an appointment if your cat changes his or her eating habits, begins drooling excessively, or suddenly has bad breath. You may also notice visible signs of a dental problem, such as irritated gums or severely stained teeth.

At Chastain Veterinary Medical Group, we offer dental care for a variety of animals, including preventative services and oral surgery. Make an appointment for dental services at our veterinary clinic in McKinney by dialing (972) 529-5033 or by dialing our veterinary clinic in Dallas at (972) 239-1309.

A Look at Periodontal Disease in Pets

A Look at Periodontal Disease in Pets

Periodontal disease is a common, if often overlooked, risk for pets. If your pet develops periodontal disease and you don’t see your veterinarian for care in time, he or she could suffer some significant consequences, from tooth loss to systemic health problems. Here are the facts that every pet owner needs to know about periodontal disease.

How likely is it that my pet has periodontal disease?

According to the American Veterinary Dental College, the majority of dogs and cats have evidence of periodontal disease by age three (3). In recent years, at the urging of their veterinarians, pet owners have become more aware of the risk of periodontal disease and how they can prevent it, but it remains an extremely common problem. If you haven’t talked to your veterinarian about periodontal disease, do so at your next animal hospital visit. He or she may recommend professional dental cleanings and home oral hygiene treatments to protect your pet’s gums.

What symptoms are common?

Periodontal disease may not cause any symptoms that we humans can easily perceive until it is well advanced. If you notice that your pet has chronically bad breath, see the veterinarian for a checkup. Contrary to popular belief, bad breath is not normal in animals and is often caused by periodontal disease. In later stages, you may notice your pet’s gums appear red and inflamed or that he or she appears hesitant to chew his or her food. If your pet’s teeth look discolored or decayed, that can also be an indication that periodontal disease is present.

Why is treating periodontal disease important?

Periodontal disease can affect your pet in the same way it affects you. Your pet may lose his or teeth as well as the gum tissue and bone that support them. The tooth and gum infection can enter the bloodstream and cause or worsen heart, liver, and kidney problems. Periodontal disease can also cause pain and interfere with your pet’s ability to eat normally and be happy.

We take dental care seriously at Chastain Veterinary Medical Group and can help you treat and prevent periodontal disease in your pet. To schedule a consultation at our Animal Hospital in McKinney call (972) 529-5033, or for our Hospital in North Dallas, please call (972) 239-1309.

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