Cat & Dog Dental Care
Dental care and oral hygiene are just as important for dogs and cats as they are for people, yet most American pets don't get the care they need to keep their teeth and gums healthy.
Our Parrish veterinary hospital offers complete dental care for your dog and cat. Everything from basic dental exams and teeth cleanings to more specialized services like mouth x-rays and dental surgeries are handled for our patients in-house at Ellenton Animal Hospital.
Caring for your companion's oral health doesn't end at the vet dentist's office either, our team will provide you with advice on caring for your pet's teeth and gums at home between visits.
Pet Dental Surgery in Parrish
Discovering your pet needs dental surgery can be a shock, and potentially overwhelming. Ellenton Animal Hospital makes the process as comfortable for pets and stress-free for pet owners as we can.
We'll do everything we can to ensure your pet's experience with us is comfortable and easy. We explain each step of the process to you in detail before the procedure, including preparation and post-operative care requirements.
We offer jaw fracture repair surgeries, tooth extractions, and gum disease treatment for dogs and cats.
Pet Teeth Cleaning & Exams
Ellenton Animal Hospital can assess, diagnose and treat dental health problems in cats and dogs. We recommend yearly dental cleanings to prevent oral health complications. At the same time as your cleaning, we will conduct a thorough examination to catch any signs of trouble early and, if necessary, intervene.
Dog and cat breeds with higher documented chances of developing oral health complications may need checkups more often than once a year. Your vet will advise you on how best to take care of your pet at your first dental appointment.
It's time for a dental checkup if you witness any of these symptoms.
- Tartar buildup
- Loose and/or broken teeth
- Extra teeth or retained baby teeth
- Bleeding from the mouth
- Bad breath
- Pain or swelling in or around the mouth
- Reduced appetite or refusal to eat
- Abnormal chewing, drooling, or dropping food from the mouth
- Discolored teeth
- Before Your Pet's Dental Cleaning
A thorough pre-anesthetic physical assessment will be completed for your pet before the dental exam.
Blood and urine analysis will be performed on-site 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 tooth by tooth examination, charting your cat or dog's oral profile along the way.
- Cleaning and Treatment
The teeth are 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 advanced periodontal disease is found, the veterinarian will develop a treatment plan and discuss it with you.
- Preventing Future Problems
Ideally, a follow-up examination will 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.
FAQs About Pet Dental Care
Here are some of the most frequently asked questions from our patients about pet dental care.
- Why do pets need their teeth cleaned?
Our pets can develop periodontal disease or tooth decay as a consequence of poor oral health.
Just like in humans, when animals eat, plaque sticks to their teeth and can build up into tartar if not brushed away on a regular basis.
This can lead to infections in the mouth, 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.
- How can I tell if my pet has oral hygiene issues?
Did you know behavior may be an indication of oral health problems? If your pet is experiencing dental problems, they 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 sufficiently.
Other signs of oral health problems include bad breath, swollen gums, and tooth discoloration. Some pets may even suffer from pain that keeps 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 ranging from cavities and bad breath to severe periodontal disease, oral health issues and conditions can lead to disease in the liver, kidney, heart, and other areas throughout your pet's body.
Cysts or tumors may develop. Your pet may also not feel 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.
This is why regular dental care is so essential to animals' physical health and wellbeing.
- What happens during a pet teeth cleaning appointment?
During your pet’s regular oral exam, the veterinary dentist will examine his or her 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.
In some cases, surgery will be needed to treat serious conditions. Your pet will be provided with anesthesia before their dental procedure to ensure they are comfortable and do not experience any pain. However, special care will be needed post-surgery.
If you notice any of these symptoms, schedule 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 regular basis and give them dental chew toys. These will help eliminate plaque.
Do not allow them to chew on things that will damage their teeth, such as bones, toys or objects that are too hard. Always contact your vet with any questions or concerns regarding your pet's oral health.
Use of Anesthesia in Veterinary Dentistry
Our Parrish vets provide anesthesia to all of our patients before performing dental procedures.
While it's for their own good, cats and dogs often don't take having someone stick their fingers in their mouth very well. Our team administers anesthesia to relax the pet, much like a human dentist does for especially anxious patients. This allows cats and dogs a less stressful experience and keeps them from accidentally hurting themselves during procedures.