Dental Care for Cats & Dogs
Routine dental care is a hugely important aspect of cats' and dogs' oral and overall health. However, most pets don't actually get the oral hygiene care that they need in order to keep their gums and teeth healthy.
At our veterinary hospital, we provide comprehensive dental care for pets from across the Saint John area including exams, cleanings, polishing and surgeries.
We also make a point of providing dental health education to pet owners about home dental care for their pets.
Dental Surgery in Saint John
We know that finding out that your pet needs dental surgery can be an overwhelming experience. We strive to ensure this process remains as stress-free as possible for you and for your pet.
We will do everything that we can to help you feel comfortable and for the treatment process for your pet to feel easy. We will walk through each step of the process with you in detail before your procedure including what preparative and post-operative care requirements you may have to fulfill for your pet.
We offer jaw fracture repair surgeries, tooth extractions, and gum disease treatment for dogs and cats.
Pet Teeth Cleaning & Exams
Just like your own annual checkup with your dentist, your cat or dog should come in for a routine dental exam at least once each year. Pets that are more prone to developing dental health problems than others may need to see us for cleanings and checkups more often.
Avenue Animal Hospital can assess, diagnose and treat dental health problems in cats and dogs.
If you notice any of the following symptoms in your pet, it's time for a dental checkup.
- Bad breath
- Discoloured teeth
- Tartar buildup
- Loose and/or broken teeth
- Bleeding from the mouth
- Reduced appetite or refusal to eat
- Extra teeth or retained baby teeth
- Pain or swelling in or around the mouth
- Abnormal chewing, drooling, or dropping food from the mouth
A thorough pre-anaesthetic physical assessment will be completed for your pet before the dental exam.
We will take blood and urine analyses to ensure it's safe for your pet to undergo anaesthesia. Additional diagnostics, such as chest radiographs or an ECG may also be conducted.
Once your pet is under anaesthesia, we will conduct a complete oral examination (tooth by tooth) and charting.
Next, the teeth are cleaned and polished (including under the gum line). We then apply a fluoride treatment to each tooth.
The final step in the process is to apply a dental sealant to your pet's teeth in order to prevent plaque from attaching to the enamel. If we find serious oral health issues such as advanced periodontal disease, our vets will develop a treatment plan and speak with you about it.
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 clients 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 regularly.
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 behaviour 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 tumours 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 vet will examine his or her mouth and look for oral health conditions or any symptoms needing treatment.
Our vets will clean the tartar and debris from your dog or cat's teeth. If gingivitis, cavities, or other conditions have to be addressed, our vet will explain these to you and give you some advice about what kinds of actions you should take.
In some instances, surgery will be required to restore your pet's oral health. Your dog or cat will be provided with anaesthesia before the procedure to help make sure they are comfortable and will experience minimal discomfort. Your pet will require special post-operative care from you after their 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.
Don't allow your pet to chew on things that might damage their teeth like toys, bones or other objects that may be too hard. Always contact your vet with any questions about your companion's oral health.Contact Us to Book a Dental Checkup
Veterinary Dentistry: anaesthesia & Your Pet's Oral Health
Cats and dogs don't know what is happening during a dental procedure and may become stressed or anxious because of that, sometimes becoming reactive.
Similar to the anaesthesia provided to nervous or anxious patients by dentists, our Saint John vets provide anaesthesia to all of our patients before performing dental procedures. This puts less stress on the pets and allows us to examine their mouth as needed.