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Frequently Asked Pet Dental Care Questions

At our veterinary clinic in Austin, TX, our veterinarians stress the importance of regular pet dental care to all dog and cat owners. Pet owners, however, often have several questions regarding pet dental care. Here, our Dessau Veterinary Clinic veterinarians provide a few answers to some of the most common questions about cat and dog dental care.

Why is pet dental care so important?

Just like humans, pets require regular oral hygiene in order to stay healthy. Our veterinarians in Austin, TX stress to pet owners that not providing pets with proper dental care can lead to serious health problems in the future.

What sort of health problems are related to my pet's oral hygiene?

Without regular cleanings, pets' teeth acquire a buildup of plaque and tartar, which pushes the gums away from the teeth, creating pockets between the teeth and gums. These pockets provide harmful bacteria the perfect place to grow and multiply. When a pet's gums become infected with bacteria, this is called periodontal disease. Left untreated, periodontal disease can lead to severe pain, tooth loss, difficulty eating and drinking, and more seriously a blood infection. A blood infection may harm a pet's kidneys, liver, heart, and lungs, sometimes leading to death.

What kind of cat and dog dental care do you recommend?

In addition to home care, our veterinarians in Austin, TX recommend that cats and dogs have an annual dental checkup and cleaning performed by a professional. This cat or dog dental exam can be scheduled along with your pet's annual wellness appointment.

What does a professional exam and cleaning entail?

During a cat or dog dental exam and cleaning, a professional gently cleans and examines your pet's teeth and gums, removing any plaque or tartar while looking for loose teeth, abscesses, or sores. Our veterinarian will also polish your pet's teeth, which helps prevent further buildup of plaque and tartar on the teeth. If your pet has a more serious problem, such as an abscess or tooth which needs removal, our veterinarian will consult with you about the next steps for treatment.

Will my pet feel any discomfort during a cat or dog dental exam?

Our veterinary professionals administer a light anesthetic to healthy pets undergoing a dental examination in order to eliminate any stress or discomfort felt during the exam. Our veterinarians always use a gentle, loving touch. With pets unable to receive anesthetic, our highly experienced veterinarians inspect and clean teeth with the utmost care, ensuring your pet experiences minimal stress and discomfort.

What pet dental care steps can I take at home?

Our veterinarians in Austin, TX encourage pet owners to provide oral care at home with regular teeth brushings, dental-friendly chew toys, and sometimes with specially formulated pet food.