We’re all about providing total animal wellness here at the Animal Wellness Center of Bonita. And while vaccinations, annual checkups, and, and regular grooming are all essential, the health of your dog or cat also hinges on his or her oral health. To that end, our veterinarian will include an examination of the pet’s teeth and gums as part of every examination. Depending on what he finds, he may go on to recommend a separate oral assessment and dental examination. Radiographs, which are part of this Oral Assessment, Treatment, and Plan (ATP) will reveal if further procedures are necessary.
Dental Disease Affects More than the Mouth
Since dogs and cats don’t brush and floss regularly, dental disease is quite prevalent in the pet population in Bonita Springs. In fact over 80% of dogs have dental or periodontal disease by age three, and between 50 and 90% of cats over the age of four also exhibit symptoms. The severity of these conditions will vary from animal to animal, in some cases causing discomfort and pain. The good news is that most cases of periodontal disease can be treated with regular cleanings and kept in check with appropriate monitoring and preventive care.
Annual cleanings are number one on this list because not only will cleaning above and below the gumline remove plaque buildup that leads to periodontal disease, it will prevent the bacteria that lives in plaque from entering your dog or cat’s bloodstream where it can travel to her kidneys, heart, and liver. This migration, known as bacteremia, can cause permanent organ damage.
Now while humans can understand what dental cleanings and radiographs entail, animals can not. Therefore, part of any thorough cleaning or evaluation must involve anesthesia. In previous times, anesthesia came with its own risks, especially for older pets, but recent improvements have made it safer, and although he may be groggy all day, chances are your kitty or pooch can go home on the same day of the procedure. The important thing to remember is that in most cases the benefits to pet dental health outnumber the risks.
Talk to Our Bonita Springs Veterinarian
If you have any concerns about your pet’s ability to undergo any of the above procedures, our veterinarian can answer any of your questions. Everyone here at our Bonita Springs practice, our receptionists and technicians, consider your peace of mind an important part of the big picture. So please, give us a call. We’re here Monday, Tuesday, and Friday from 8 AM to 5 PM; Wednesday from 4 PM to 8 PM, and Saturday mornings, 8 to noon.