Dental disease is extremely common in dogs, cats and rabbits
with 1 in 3 pets being affected by the age of five. We can
advise and help with preventive dental care and also treat
existing problems, from mild gingivitis to advanced periodontal
disease and worse.
Animals are very stoical about dental disease and pain and
so owners may be slow to pick up on it. They almost never
stop eating and rarely show overt signs of being in pain but
that does not mean that it is not making them miserable. We
like to check an animal's teeth at each annual MOT and in
our Fit for Life appointments - there are only
very few animals so cantankerous that we cannot get a reasonable
look in their mouths.
When we recommend dentistry, people are often reluctant because
of the need for a general anaesthetic. Once we have convinced
them that anaesthetics are now extremely safe even for very
elderly pets, and we have carried out the necessary remedial
work, one of the commonest owner reactions at the post-dental
check up a few days later is He/She is like a new Dog/Cat.
It is as though freedom from mouth pain and chronic infection
has made them feel years younger again!
Dental disease is extremely common in dogs,
cats and rabbits with 1 in 3 pets being affected by the age
of five. We are very keen on prevention of dental disease
and can do much to help and advise you on this subject but,
once it has occurred, we are well-equipped to deal with it.
Almost all animal dentistry is carried
out under general anaesthetic (lucky things!) because they
will not readily comply with the instruction to keep
still and open your mouth wide. The risk of doing accidental
damage to delicate gums, not to mention vet's and nurse's
fingers, is just too great in even the most placid and obliging
creatures. If we are planning dentistry on an older patient,
or one with pre-existing disease, we may want to run some
blood tests before we anaesthetise them and possibly put them
on an intravenous drip throughout the procedure.
Once safely anaesthetised, and the airway protected by an
endotracheal tube, we can scale and polish their teeth to
perfection. We will extract any teeth that are beyond saving
but ideally we will have intervened early enough to make extractions
unnecessary. We take the opportunity of giving the animals
mouth and throat a thorough inspection and occasionally we
spot something unexpected, such as an oral tumour early
detection could be life-saving. Some patients will go home
on antibiotics to mop up residual peridontal infection and
some will need painkillers if they have had major extractions.
At the post-dental check up our nurses will advise on oral
hygiene and preventive dental health care.