VCA Veterinary Hospital of Leon Springs

Dental Care

Did you know that up to 80% of dogs and 70% of cats that don’t receive proper dental care will develop signs of dental disease by the age of three?

Without proper dental care, your pet will most likely suffer from bad breath, inflamed gums, missing, loose, or broken teeth. All of these problems can cause pain and discomfort. Dental disease can also lead to systemic health problems in dogs and cats.
The good news, however, is that dental disease is easily prevented by regular dental examinations, home care, and dental cleanings.

While dogs and cats do not typically get cavities the way humans do, without proper care, they often suffer from periodontal disease. Otherwise known as gum disease, periodontal disease is an infection caused by the bacteria found in dental plaque. It often begins with discoloration on the teeth. Without regular dental cleanings, this plaque builds up and turns into tartar. Tartar can then dig into the gums, where bacteria can become trapped and cause infections. If left unchecked, periodontal disease can lead to serious pain, infection, and tooth loss. The infection can also result in bacteria entering the bloodstream and damaging other organs or body systems in your pet. It can also complicate other underlying diseases, such as diabetes or chronic sinusitis. Periodontal disease is one of the leading illnesses found in both dogs and cats.

When left unattended, the damage caused by periodontal disease is often irreversible. Usually however, it can be halted with antibiotics and regular cleaning. The wisest solution is to stop the disease before it starts. Beginning at age one, your pet should have an annual dental examination and cleaning performed by your veterinarian. A thorough cleaning removes plaque and tartar both above and below the gum line. This proactive treatment is aimed at maintaining the natural oral defenses so that periodontal disease and other dental problems have a harder time becoming established.

Signs your pet may be suffering from poor dental health can include:

  • Bad breath
  • Visible Tartar on the Teeth
  • Loose or Missing Teeth
  • Difficulty Eating
  • Drooling or Excessive Salivation
  • Pawing at the Teeth or Mouth
  • Red, Irritated, Swollen, or Bleeding Gums

A good home care program can tremendously extend the positive effects of the professional cleaning. The best form of oral home care is daily brushing with a soft toothbrush. During a consultation, your veterinarian can show you the best way to brush your pet’s teeth. Available at the clinic are specialized products to help you keep your pet’s teeth and gums clean. It is very important that special ‘pet friendly’ toothpaste be used, as the pH is different in that which is used for humans.

Another way you can help prevent plaque and tarter from accumulating in your pet’s mouth is through a special diet. Dry food is generally better than canned for tooth health. However, you’ll get the best results with specially formulated foods that have been proven effective in combating plaque and tartar buildup. Your veterinarian will be able to assess your pet’s health and recommend which specific diet would be most beneficial for him or her.


Specialty Care

Sometimes sick or injured pets need the care of a veterinary medical specialist. When that happens, VCA specialty hospitals work closely with the general practitioner veterinarians who refer cases to us in order to provide seamless veterinary care to your pet. When your pet is facing any kind of serious illness or injury, our specialty referral hospitals will provide the compassionate and expert care your beloved pet needs.

Our goal is to make sure that when you and your pet are in need that you have access to board certified specialists who are up to date on the very latest developments in their field. In our state of the art hospitals, our specialists also have access to the most sophisticated diagnostic and treatment tools and techniques from ultrasonography and endoscopy to CAT scans and even MRI.

As part of the VCA family, we have over 83 specialty hospitals across the US and Canada which provide referral specialty care, so there may be one near you. Our specialized services include: behavior, cardiology, critical care, dentistry, dermatology, integrative medicine, internal medicine, neurology, oncology, ophthalmology, radiology, rehabilitation, reproduction, and surgery.

Find a VCA Specialty Care Animal Hospital near you:


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Emergency Care

In case of an emergency during normal business hours (M-F 7:30am - 7:00pm) please call us at 210-698-1043.


Should you have an after-hours emergency, please contact either of these pet emergency hospitals:


Mission Pet Emergency -

Located at: 8202 N Loop 1604 West, San Antonio Texas, 78249

Phone: 210-691-0900


Emergency Pet Center -

Located at: 503 E. Sonterra Blvd., San Antonio Texas, 78258

Phone: 210-404-2873


If you feel that your pet has potentially ingested a toxin, please contact either one of the above listed pet emergency centers, or the pet poison helpline. 

Online at:


For a list of current pet food recall alerts, please visit the American Veterinary Medical Association's website at