Dental diseases can come in many forms and affects pets of all breeds and ages. What may seem like just “dog breath” may be an indication of more serious troubles within the mouth, although oral disease can exist without halitosis (bad breath). Tartar is the most easily visible symptom of dental disease and is often a precursor to other dental diseases such as gingivitis and tooth decay. If left untreated, tooth decay may penetrate the bone and create a deep-seated, relatively serious condition called osteomyelitis. Gingivitis compromises the gums and allows bacteria access to the bloodstream. These bacteria can then “seed” other vital organs such as the heart and liver, leading to a systemically compromised patient. This aspect of dental disease is why we perform pre-anesthetic blood work in order to detect any systemic diseases and properly address these issues prior to administering anesthesia. Pre-anesthetic antibiotics are often prescribed when there is a concern about a high bacterial load in the mouth.

Aside from infection, dental disease can cause significant pain and discomfort to your beloved pet. Animals are often very stoic, and will not complain like a human about their pain until it becomes unbearable. Regular dental care will improve the quality of and extend your pet’s life. In addition to comfort and decreasing infectious sources, regular dental care facilitates extensive oral exams which allow for early detection of oral abnormalities or masses, thus providing early treatment for such conditions.

Dr. Maria Wilson has a special deal to share with you. February is our dental month at Country Friends Veterinary Clinic. You will receive 10% off all dental related products and procedures. Call us today to schedule your four-legged friend’s trip to the dentist!