Routine dental care is a critical component of cats' and dogs' oral and overall health, but most pets don't get the oral hygiene care they need to keep their teeth and gums healthy.
At College Animal Hospital, we provide complete dental care for your pet, from basics like dental exams, teeth cleanings, and polishing, to dental x-rays and surgeries.
We also ensure that pet owners are well-informed about the importance of dental health and how to maintain their pet's dental care at home.
We offer dental surgeries including jaw fracture repair and tooth extractions, and treatment for gum disease in dogs and cats.
We understand that learning your pet needs dental surgery can be overwhelming, and we strive to make this process as stress-free as possible for you and your pet. We'll break down each step of the process to you in detail before the procedure, including preparation and post-operative care requirements.
Much like your annual checkup at the dentist, your dog or cat should come in for a dental examination at least once a year. Pets who are more prone to more dental problems may need to see us more often.
College Animal Hospital can assess, diagnose and treat dental health problems in cats and dogs.
If you notice any of these signs in your pet, it's time for an oral health checkup.
A thorough pre-anesthetic physical assessment will be completed for your pet before the dental exam.
Blood and urine are collected and analyzed to ensure it's safe for your pet to undergo anesthesia. Additional diagnostics, such as chest radiographs or an ECG may also be conducted.
Once your pet is under anesthesia, we will conduct a complete oral examination and charting of each tooth.
Your pet's teeth are then cleaned and polished (including under the gum line) and x-rays are taken. We then apply a fluoride treatment to each tooth.
The final step is to apply a dental sealant to prevent plaque from attaching to the enamel. If your veterinarian finds advanced periodontal disease, they will develop a treatment plan and discuss it with you.
A follow-up examination should ideally be scheduled two weeks after the initial assessment and treatment appointment.
During this visit, we will discuss implementing teeth brushing at home. We can also recommend products that can help improve your pet's oral health.
Here are some of our most frequently asked questions from pet owners about pet dental care.
Periodontal disease or tooth decay can be a consequence of poor oral health for our beloved pets.
Just like in humans, when animals eat, plaque sticks to their teeth and can build up into tartar if not brushed away regularly.
This can lead to oral infections, periodontal disease, tooth decay, and even loose or missing teeth. That's why regular dental care is essential to preventing pain or disease in the gums.
Did you that changes in behavior can be a sign of oral health problems? If your pet is experiencing dental problems, they may drool excessively (and the drool may contain pus or blood), or you may notice them pawing at their mouth or teeth. They may also yawn excessively, grind their teeth, or stop grooming themselves sufficiently.
Other signs of oral health problems include bad breath, swollen gums, and tooth discoloration. Some pets may suffer from pain that keeps them from eating, which is a serious concern.
Besides causing problems ranging from cavities and bad breath to severe periodontal disease, serious oral health issues and conditions can lead to disease in the liver, kidney, heart, and other areas throughout your pet's body.
If your pet is experiencing oral health issues, they are likely not feeling well in general (if you've ever had a toothache, you know how it can affect your mood!) In addition, diseases related to oral health conditions can shorten the lifespan of your pet and cause significant pain.
Regular dental care is an essential part of maintaining your pet's good health and wellbeing.
As your veterinarian performs an oral health exam on your pet, they will examine the animal's mouth and look for oral health conditions or any symptoms needing treatment.
The vet will clean tartar and other debris from your cat's or dog's teeth. If cavities, gingivitis, or other conditions need to be addressed, the vet will explain these to you and provide advice on which actions you should take.
There may be more serious cases that require surgery. Your pet will be provided with anesthesia before their dental procedure to ensure they are comfortable and do not experience any pain. After the surgery, it is important to remember that special care will be needed for them at home.
If you notice any of these symptoms, schedule a dental appointment with us.
At home, you should brush your pet's teeth on a regular basis and give them dental chew toys. These will help eliminate plaque.
Don't allow them to chew on things that will damage their teeth, such as bones, toys or objects that are too hard for. Always contact your vet with any questions or concerns regarding your pet's oral health.
Why do we use anesthesia for dental procedures? Cats and dogs do not understand what is going on during dental procedures, and will often react to this fear by struggling or biting.
Similar to the anesthesia provided to nervous or anxious human patients by dentists, our San Diego vets provide anesthesia to all of our animal patients before performing dental procedures. This puts less stress on the animals and allows us to examine and x-ray their mouths more accurately.
College Animal Hospital is happy to welcome new patients! Our experienced vets are passionate about the health of San Diego pets. Get in touch today to book your pet's first appointment.