February is veterinary dental awareness month! This month’s topic is on the importance of maintaining a healthy mouth for your pets. Periodontal disease (infection of the gum tissue around the teeth) not only affects your pet’s mouth, but their overall health. The signs of periodontal disease vary from bad breath, inflamed gums, missing teeth, lack of appetite, and weight loss. Prevention is essential for your pet’s health. We recommend brushing your pet’s teeth frequently and scheduling periodic dental cleanings at our office.
Not sure if your pet has active periodontal disease? Fortunately, we carry a product called OraStrips, that allow us to detect on a scale from 0-5 (0 being no periodontal disease, 5 being advanced periodontal disease) the amount of current periodontal disease in your pet’s mouth. These strips allow the staff to detect infection that we are unable see. We detect this by taking the OraStrip and gently gliding it across your pet’s gums. Then, after 10 seconds, the strip reacts and measures the amount of thiols, which is a compound produced by bacteria and indicates active dental infection. If there are high thiol levels, this indicates tissue destruction. Left untreated, periodontal disease causes painful, irreversible bone and tooth loss, and can lead to heart, liver, and kidney disease.
However, there is no need to worry! Here at the VCA Animal Healing Center, we take pride in helping you get your pets to a healthy, happy mouth! If your pet’s mouth has minimal disease we can instruct you how to properly maintain your pet’s oral health at home. We carry many products ranging from toothpastes and brushes to oral rinses. We even have supplements for pet’s that can be difficult to handle. On the other hand, if there is advanced dental disease we will clean your pet’s teeth with a dental cleaning, and then show you how to maintain their healthy mouth at home.
As always, the Staff at the VCA Animal Healing Center is here for you, so please don’t hesitate to call with any questions! Thank you for reading about our monthly topic, see you next month!
This month, we chose to use Shania Wilkinson as our patient of the month! Below is her owner’s testimonial and pictures of Shania’s mouth pre and post dental cleaning and of her adorable face!
“My little 95 pound Rottweiler is named Shania. She is the sweetest and most stoic girl in the world. She was having a problem with her back left leg and having heard so many good things about Dr. Marx and VCA Hospitals I decided to take her for a visit. Shania needed x-rays so I decided to have her teeth cleaned at the same time. Her teeth are now clean and an amazing white - bad tartar gone. I am very pleased with the work done on Shania and she loves the calm and soothing care she has received. Thank you Dr. Marx and your caring and helpful staff.”
Carole Wilkinson and Shania
Before Dental Cleaning
After Dental Cleaning