Tag Archives: veterinary dental

The Importance of Dental Health

Virtually no one likes going to the dentist…but we all know it’s important! Dental care for humans and animals alike is something that should never be ignored. Proper dental hygiene is a critical part of keeping your pet healthy and happy, helping to avoid potentially life-threatening issues that come with dental disease. Want to know just a bit more? Dr. Tressa MacLennan from our Scottsdale location did a quick segment with a brief overview! Check it out:

How do you brush a cat’s teeth?

When asked ‘how do you brush a cat’s teeth?, cat owners and veterinarians will most likely answer, “VERY CAREFULLY”.

While the joke is good for a small giggle, the better question is WHY you need to clean kitty’s teeth. The answer? Because they’re teeth. They get dirty.

Adult cats have 30 teeth – so there are a lot of places for problems to begin. Regular brushing at home combined with dental cleanings at the vet helps reduce plaque and tartar build-up that kickstarts inflammation and allows disease to creep in.

So, how’s your cat’s breath?

Get up close and personal to get a whiff of your cat’s breath. Is it regular old cat breath (meaning slightly fishy, but not overwhelming) or ‘OMG…I can’t even, oh noooooo…’ breath?

If it’s the first, great – that means you still have time to establish a preventive dental care plan.

If it’s the second – you and your cat have a real problem. Foul breath is the first indication of oral health problems and disease. Make an appointment with your vet. Don’t delay.

Still good? Go a bit further…

If your cat will allow it, gently flip their lip to reveal the teeth and gum area. Look for redness, swelling, bleeding, or inflammation of the gums. You’ll probably see discolorations on the teeth, too. Are any of the teeth chipped or broken? Any of these conditions require professional care.

Call your vet and make an appointment. Don’t delay.

Speaking of appointments with the vet…

All cats and dogs should have an annual health check up. Part of a thorough health check includes checking the pet’s teeth and gums for signs of disease. Sadly, too many domestic cats and dogs don’t get regular veterinary care until they are injured or they show definite signs of being sick.

Remember, your pet can’t tell you their teeth hurt, and cats are notorious for hiding pain. Don’t wait until your pet is clearly in pain or distress.

Not quite convinced?

February is Pet Dental Health Month, so you’ll save $50 off a dental treatment at any Arizona PetVet location. Find the nearest location.

Pet Dental Health Month Is Almost Here

People brush their teeth because it helps keep their breath fresh, and because it’s important for maintaining their health. These things are true for animals too, but too many pet parents neglect their pet’s dental health simply because they don’t realize its importance.

National Pet Owners survey found that only 14% of dogs and 9% of cats receive dental care at the veterinarian’s office. Early treatment, regular dental examinations and cleanings, and a home care regimen are key to maintaining your pet’s health and longevity. Don’t make that mistake. Periodontal disease is one the most prevalent diseases in companion animals today. In fact, four out of five dogs over the age of three have some sort of periodontal disease.

Numerous studies show a link between gum disease and serious health issues like heart disease. According to the American Veterinary Medical Association, bacteria can enter your pet’s bloodstream from their teeth and mouth, leading to potential infections of your pet’s heart, lung, kidneys, liver, and nervous system. Prevention is the best approach, so regular brushing, dental exams and cleanings are vital.Plaque and tartar build-up on teeth is a sign of trouble, so make dental chews, teeth brushing and regular check-ups part of your routine. Cats need regular dental care as well.

The American Animal Hospital Association guidelines recommend regular examinations and dental cleanings for all adult dogs and cats annually, starting at one year for cats and small-breed dogs, and at two years of age for larger-breed dogs.

So its clear: an annual dental examination is the best way to identify issues before they have a serious impact on your pet’s health. Your veterinarian will observe your pet’s face, their gums, cheeks, palate, and bite patterns to isolate dental health concerns and recommend cleaning and/or treatment. Regular dental cleanings can also make a huge difference to your pet’s overall health. Your vet can help you establish a home-care routine. Make that commitment.

This coming Pet Dental Health Month AZPetVet is offering $50 towards vital dental treatments. Make the appointment today. Click here to find your nearest AZPetVet location.

Common Signs of Pain in Dogs and Cats

pet painSeptember is Animal Pain Awareness Month, but what does that really mean? We all sincerely believe we’d know if something were wrong with our pets, but the truth is, many of us will miss the signals.

Would you recognize the most common signs of pain in your pet ?

Behavioral and other changes are the ways our animals communicate to us that there is something wrong and they need help. Here’s what you need to watch for:

Common Signs of Pain in Dogs

  • Decreased social interaction
  • Anxious expression
  • Submissive behavior
  • Refusal to move
  • Whimpering
  • Howling
  • Growling
  • Guarding behavior
  • Aggression; biting
  • Decreased appetite
  • Self-mutilation (chewing)
  • Changes in posture

Common Signs of Pain in Cats

  • Reduced activity
  • Loss of appetite
  • Quiet/loss of curiosity
  • Changes in urinary/defecation habits
  • Hiding
  • Hissing or spitting
  • Lack of agility/jumping
  • Excessive licking/grooming
  • Stiff posture/gait
  • Guarding behavior
  • Stops grooming/matted fur
  • Tail flicking
  • Weight loss

If your pet is exhibiting one or more of these behaviors, it’s best to take them in for a wellness exam. There are many options available to treat pain in animals including: pain medications, physical rehabilitation, acupuncture, laser therapy, and therapeutic massage.Your vet can provide insight into what’s happening, and discuss your treatment options.

Find an Arizona Pet Vet location

National Pet Dental Health Month is Here

2016_AZPV_DentalMonth_RD5-01The American Animal Hospital Association guidelines recommend regular brushing to keep your pet’s teeth healthy. Dental examinations and cleanings should be performed for all adult dogs and cats annually, starting at one year for cats and small-breed dogs, and at two years of age for larger-breed dogs. Here’s why:

Periodontal disease can lead to more serious health problems. Numerous studies show a link between gum disease and serious health issues like heart disease. (This is true for people, too) Prevention is the best approach, so regular brushing, dental exams and cleanings are vital.

Four out of five dogs over the age of three have some sort of periodontal disease. Plaque and tartar build-up on teeth is a sign of trouble, so make dental chewies, teeth brushing and regular check-ups part of your routine. Our feline friends need regular dental care as well.

Brushing means better breath. Bad breath can be an indicator of periodontal disease in people and in pets. Regular brushing helps keep teeth healthier and breath better, so those slobbery kisses won’t take your breath away.

Decay and gum disease can cause tooth loss in animals. This condition which can be very painful, and cause serious health problems. Regular care saves you money in the long run, and helps prevent tooth loss.

Symptoms of Hidden Dental Problems 

Your pets can’t tell you directly that their teeth hurt, so you might not realize they have a serious dental issue until it’s too late. If your pet is drooling more than usual, has bleeding gums, loose teeth, or suspicious looking spots on their gums, make the appointment today.