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Your pet's health is important to us so we like to make sure your pet's breath is good along with their teeth staying clean.  Ayers Animal Hospital is here to anser some of the most common questions about dog and cat dental care, both at home and here in the office. 

Questions about Dog and Cat Dental Care Answered:

How important are regular dog and cat dental cleanings?

Pets should have their teeth professionally cleaned once a year to control tarter buildup. It is not uncommon that some pets need their teeth cleaned every 6 months.  Tarter draws in bacteria and pushes the gums away from the teeth. This will cause inflammation and damage to your pet's teeth, gums, jawbone and even enter to bloodstream to wreak havoc on internal oragans. Tarter can only be removed professionally-no amount of brushing can get rid of it. 

Will my pet be uncomfortable during a teeth cleaning?

Not usually. At Ayers Animal Hospital our veternarians uses anesthesia for dog and cat cleanings. We use the same stringent anesthetic protocols we use for surgical situations so your pet is entirely safe, comfortable, and constantly monitored while we examine and deep clean their teeth.  Your pet's mouth may feel a little achy for few hours afterward, but this is temporary, and they will avoid the extreme pain, discomfort, and dangers of peridontal disease. 

What are the symptoms of dog and cat dental disease?

Extremely bad breath, swollen or bleeding gums, blood on chew toys, oral sores on tongue or on gumline, a reluctance to eat or drink, etc. are all symptoms of peridontal disease and/or possible other diseases. Some pets, however, show no symptoms of dental disease even if they have it. This is why regular checkups are so important.

What can I do at home to promote pet oral hygiene?

You can start brushing your pet's teeth at home each day. It may sound difficult, but we can help you train your pet to enjoy having their teeth brushed and become a daily dental hygiene routine. Do not use human toothpaste on your pet's teeth. It is harmful to them. Always use animal toothpaste only! Also feeding your pet more crunchy dry dog food instead of soft food diet because the dry food tends to help remove some of the plaque. We also suggest dental food, treats that help reduce dental disease bacteria. Talk to our veterinarians or technicians on starting a daily home pet dental routine.

Do you have to use anesthesia to clean my pet's teeth?

Yes we do. Even the calmest pet will jerk his or her head during a dental exam, This is especially dangerous when we are using sharp dental tools to scale away tartar. Anesthesia helps us provide a safe, thorough cleaning and to catch and treat burgeoning problems before they get worse. Also it is an AAHA requirement that all animals are sedated and intubated for all teeth cleanings. 

Do dog and cat dental cleanings require antibiotics?

Not usually, but it depends on the pet and if any disease is diagnosed of the mouth at the time of the dental procedure. Most healthy pets have a strong immune system and do not need them, but if your pet has any health conditions that may affect their immune system (kidney, liver, heart disease, etc.), we usually do prescribe antibiotics before and after the dental procedure.

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