Dec 03 2012

Dental Health Special Months – December, January, February

Dental Health Special Months – December, January, February

Dental disease is a problem that can creep up on your pets. Imagine what would happen if you didn’t care for your teeth regularly. The same basics of dental care also apply to your pet’s teeth.

Periodontal disease is the most common disease in dogs and cats! About 85% of dogs and cats have some form of it and are vulnerable to the pain, bad breath, and tooth loss that could follow. Chronic infections can spread to the heart, liver, lungs, and kidneys, where they can do even more damage.

Problems usually start with a buildup of sticky plaque that hardens to form tartar. If not removed, this can lead to gingivitis, a painful condition of inflamed gums, and eventually periodontal disease may develop.

Which factors lead to the development of oral health problems? These include: Age – Dental disease is more common in older pets, Breed – Smaller dogs are more likely to have overcrowded or misaligned teeth that are difficult to keep clean, making them more prone to dental disease, and Food – Feeding sticky foods can lead to a more rapid buildup of plaque.

How can you tell if your pet is having oral health problems? One of the first things you will notice is bad breath. In addition to the bad breath, other signs include yellow or brown tartar on teeth, bleeding gums, pawing or rubbing at the mouth, loose teeth or tooth loss, difficulty eating, sore mouth, and dribbling from the mouth.

How can you prevent oral health problems in your pets? It really is not that difficult. An examination by one of our veterinarians will help determine the degree of dental disease and decide what measures should be taken to correct it. One of the first steps, if there is disease present, is to have a professional prophylaxis to clean the teeth and medical treatment, if required. Following the dental, feeding the pet a dry food can help reduce the buildup of plaque in combination with regular brushing of the teeth. Yes, it can be an annoyance for you and your pet, but by doing so it can safeguard your pet’s health.

Even if your pet is not showing signs or oral health problems, it is worth coming in for a dental check up (it is also part of your pet’s routine physical as well) and advice on how to clean your pet’s teeth to prevent problems in the future.

February is “National Pet Dental Health Month” and we would run a dental special during that month. However, in Cook County, it is also “Spay / Neuter Month,” when Cook County residents receive a $40.00 rebate from the County when their pet is spayed or neutered. (As far as we know it will happen next year again, so if your pet needs to be spayed / neutered doing so in February will get you a $40.00 discount if you are a Cook County resident).

Because of the two “events” in February, our surgery schedule was overloaded and we could not accomodate all the procedures. So in an effort to honor “Dental Health” and ease the overload, we have extended a “Dental Health Special” to run for three months including all of December, January, and February. The special is a $50.00 discount off the cost of a basic dental. We also require a pre-surgical physical examination and bloodwork (the age of the pet will determine which blood panel will be conducted). In cases of severe dental disease, extractions may be required. In addition to the cleaning, gum treatments and other preventative measures are performed.

By being proactive with your pet’s dental health you can prevent more serious problems in the future. Please call and make your appointment now.

Dr. Sakas

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