Crabapple Animal Hospital provides pet dental care for dogs and cats at our location in Alpharetta, GA. Most animals will start to experience some form of pet gum disease by the time they reach age 3. Animal dental treatment from our caring and compassionate staff is the best way to keep your pet’s teeth and gums healthy for as long as possible. We provide regular pet teeth cleaning, surgery, tooth extractions and a range of other services for dogs and cats.
Alpharetta Dental Care for Dogs and Cats
The most common pet dental treatments we provide at Crabapple Animal Hospital are teeth cleanings and pet dental exams. Preventing or treating the onset of periodontal disease (gum disease) in pets is the goal of regular exams and cleanings. We will visually examine the teeth of your dog or cat at every wellness checkup. If your veterinarian notices anything in this visual check, we may recommend a more extensive exam that will include pet dental X-rays.
The standard for pet dental health maintenance is that cats and dogs should receive an exam at least once a year. Some animals are more prone to dental problems, and your veterinarian may recommend dental exams more often than that.
Periodontal disease is not just bad for your pet’s teeth. It can also impact their internal organs like the heart, liver, and kidneys if left untreated.
Pet Dental Symptoms to Watch for at Home
As an owner, you are the first line of defense when it comes to your pet’s oral health. You should examine your pet’s teeth and gums visually about once per month, just to make sure no problems are developing. If you notice any of the following symptoms or behavior changes, it’s probably time to bring your pet in for an oral exam:
- Bad breath
- Teeth becoming discolored
- Loose, cracked or broken teeth
- Buildup of tartar on the teeth
- Bleeding from the mouth
- Dropping food while eating
- Reduced appetite or refusal to eat
- Redness, swelling, or pain in or around the mouth
Pet Dental Assessment
Before your pet can receive a dental exam or X-rays, we will conduct a full assessment of their health. Dogs and cats don’t understand that we’re trying to help them during an exam of this nature, so they won’t hold still — especially if they are in pain. For this reason, exams require anesthesia to put the animal to sleep.
The purpose of the assessment is to ensure that your dog or cat won’t have a bad reaction to the anesthesia. We will conduct blood and urine tests, and possibly additional tests like an ECG. Once your pet is determined to be healthy enough for anesthesia, the exam, X-rays, cleaning and other care can be conducted.
Anesthesia is safe for pets, and we provide the best care possible with a team of specialists for a dental exam and cleaning. After your pet goes to sleep from the anesthesia, we conduct a tooth-by-tooth exam and take X-rays. A fluoride treatment is then applied to every single tooth. We also apply a sealant to each tooth that will prevent plaque from attaching to your pet’s enamel.
If any more severe treatments are necessary at this time, such as an animal tooth extraction, the veterinarian will do it at this time. If pet dental surgery is needed for a severe condition, we will talk to you about it after the exam and come up with a plan of action. If advanced periodontal disease is uncovered during the exam and cleaning, your vet will discuss a long-term treatment plan with you.
Animal Dental Hygiene at Home
You can help care for your dog or cat’s teeth at home, which will help to prevent the onset of dental problems. You can brush your pet’s teeth with a soft-bristled brush on a regular basis. It may take your pet a little while to get used to this, but most animals adjust to it in time. Don’t use human toothpaste to brush their teeth, however. Just use a brush, moistened with warm water.
Giving your pet dental chew toys will also help to keep plaque off of their teeth. We can recommend appropriate products to use for this. Bones and things like hard toys or objects are not appropriate for pet chew toys, because they can crack or break a tooth.
The teeth of all pets will start to wear down eventually as they age, especially if they are fed a diet of hard kibble. As your pet ages, you may want to switch to soft food for them, since it will be gentler on their teeth.
Contact Us About Pet Dental Care in Alpharetta, GA
If you think your dog or cat needs a pet dental exam, call Crabapple Animal Hospital to schedule an appointment. We look forward to meeting you and your pet!