Comprehensive Dental Care for Cats & Dogs
Routine dental care is an important part of cats' and dogs' oral and overall health, however most pets don't receive the oral hygiene care they require to keep their gums and teeth healthy.
The vets at our veterinary hospital, offer pet in the Fitchburg area and beyond with complete dental care, including dental exams, teeth cleanings and polishing, dental x-rays and surgeries.
We also make sure to provide all pet owners with dental health education so they know how to implement at-home dental care for their cat or dog.
Pet Dental Surgery in The Fitchburg Area
We know it's hard to hear that your pet needs dental surgery. Therefore we strive to make this process as stress-free as possible, for both you and your furry companion.
Our veterinary dentists will do everything they can to make sure your pet's time with us is easy and comfortable. We will talk you through every step of the process in detail prior to the procedure, including preparation and post-surgery care requirements.
Some off the surgical procedures we offer for cats and dogs include jaw fracture repair surgeries, tooth extractions, and gum disease treatments.
Pet Teeth Cleaning & Exams
Taking your pet to the vet for a dental cleaning is like taking them to a cat or dog dentist, they should come in for a dental exam at least once a year. Pets that are more susceptible to dental problems than others might have to see us more frequently.
The Wachusett Animal Hospital vets can examine, diagnose and treat dental health conditions in both cats and dogs.
If you find your pet has any of the symptoms below, it's time for a dental checkup.
- Discolored teeth
- Tartar buildup
- Bad breath
- Loose and/or broken teeth
- Extra teeth or retained baby teeth
- Bleeding from the mouth
- Pain or swelling in or around the mouth
- Reduced appetite or refusal to eat
- Abnormal chewing, drooling, or dropping food from the mouth
A thorough pre-anesthetic physical assessment will be completed for your pet prior to the dental exam.
We will take blood and urine analyses to make sure it's safe for your pet to undergo anesthesia. Additional diagnostics, like chest radiographs or an ECG could also be conducted.
When your pet is under anesthesia, we will perform a full oral examination (tooth by tooth) and charting.
Next, we clean and polish their teeth (including under the gum line) X-rays are also taken. We will then apply a fluoride treatment to every tooth.
The last step is to apply a dental sealant to prevent plaque from attaching to the enamel. If we discover advanced periodontal disease, your veterinarian will develop a treatment plan and discuss it with you.
Ideally, a follow-up examination will be booked for two weeks after the initial assessment and treatment appointment.
At this visit, we will talk about implementing teeth brushing at home. We can also suggest products that could help improve your pet's oral health.
FAQs About Pet Dental Care
Following are some of the most frequently asked questions our patients ask about pet dental care.
- Why do pets need their teeth cleaned?
Our pets can develop periodontal disease or tooth decay from poor oral health habits.
When cats and dogs eat, plaque sticks to their teeth and can build up into tartar if not brushed away regularly ( just like humans).
This can cause infections in the mouth, periodontal disease, tooth decay, and even loose or missing teeth. That's why regular dental care is so important in preventing pain or disease in the gums.
- How can I tell if my pet has oral hygiene issues?
Behavior can also be an indication of oral health problems in your pet. If your pet is experiencing dental problems you may notice them drooling excessively (drool may contain pus or blood), pawing at their mouth/ teeth, yawning excessively, grinding their teeth, or they stop grooming sufficiently.
Other signs of oral health problems include bad breath, swollen gums, and tooth discoloration. Somtimes cats and dogs might even suffer from pain that stops them from eating. Read more about symptoms to the left under Pet Teeth Cleaning & Exams.
- What long-term problems can poor oral health potentially cause in my pet?
Besides causing problems like cavities, bad breath and severe periodontal disease, oral health issues and conditions can cause disease in the liver, kidney, heart, and other areas throughout your pet's body.
Cysts or tumors could also develop. Your pet might also not feel well in general. On top of this, diseases related to oral health conditions can shorten the lifespan of your pet and cause them lots of pain.
This is why regular dental care is so essential to animals' physical health and wellbeing.
- What happens during a pet teeth cleaning appointment?
At your pet’s regular oral exam, the vet will examine thier mouth and look for any oral health conditions or symptoms requiring treatment.
The vet will clean tartar and other debris from your pet's teeth. If cavities, gingivitis, or other conditions have to be addressed, the vet will explain these to you and provide advice on which actions you should take.
Sometimes, surgery is needed to treat serious conditions. Your pet will be given anesthesia before their dental procedure to make sure they are comfortable and do not feel any pain. However, special care will be required post-surgery.
If you see any of these symptoms in your cat or dog, book a dental appointment with us.
- What should I do at home to keep my pet’s teeth clean between dental appointments?
At home, you should brush your pet's teeth on a daily basis and give them dental chew toys to help eliminate plaque.
Don't let them chew on things that can damage their teeth, such as bones, toys or objects that are too hard. Always call your vet if you have any questions or concerns about your pet's oral health.
Veterinary Dentistry: Anesthesia & Your Pet's Oral Health
Cats and dogs don't know what is going on during dental procedures, and they will often react to them by biting or struggling.
Like the anesthesia dentists give nervous or anxious patients, our vets provide anesthesia to all pets before performing dental procedures. This makes your animal less stressed and allows us to X-ray their mouth as required.
Welcoming Cats & Dogs to Our Animal Hospital
Wachusett Animal Hospital and Pet Retreat is accepting new patients! Our experienced vets are passionate about the health of Westminster companion animals. Get in touch today to book your pet's first appointment.