Dental Health

Dental disease in dogs and cats is one of the most common
and easily preventable ailments affecting our furry friends.  
While "doggy or kitty breath" is what most people relate to teeth
that need to be cleaned, there are much more serious
problems that have a direct relationship to the dental calculus
and bacteria found in the mouth.  With periodontal disease,
common findings are painful root exposure, gum infection, and
even heart disease.  Many older pets develop cardiac, kidney,
or other generalized disease problems which could have been
prevented by prophylactic dental care and cleaning.  While pets
with moderate/advanced periodontal disease may already have
irreversible damage, we can still work to prevent further disease
Our hospital offers complete dental services including dental
prophylaxis, digital radiographic assessment, surgical
exodontia, and some types of crown restorations.  All patients
are continuously monitored during anesthesia and recovery,
receive intraoperative fluid therapy and local anesthetic blocks,
and go home with post-operative pain control.

Some commonly asked questions we receive regarding dental
care are:
Q: Why does my pet need to have his/her teeth cleaned when
he/she only eats hard food?
A: While dry food does have a minor role in preventing tartar
from building up, only regular daily brushing can remove plaque.

Q: My pet is very old--shouldn't I be worried about the risks of
A: While there is always some degree of risk with any
anesthetic procedure, our hospital uses anesthetics which are
deemed safe even for older animals.  To minimize risk, our
doctors always recommend blood work to evaluate blood cell
counts and the functioning of critical organs prior to the dental
procedure.  We commonly perform dentistry on geriatric
animals over 10 years of age.  Most times the animals, after
recovery, feel so much better with their improved oral health
that their owners are surprised at the improvement in their
overall attitude and playfulness, not to mention their
dramatically improved breath!

The staff at Colyer Veterinary Service strives to educate pet
owners about the importance of dental care.  Starting as
puppies and kittens, there are steps which can be taken to
decrease your pet's chances of developing dental
disease--such as regular examinations, teeth brushing, and
other home care programs.  Please feel free to discuss home
care or any other questions with Dr. Colyer, Dr. Granger or our
dental technicians.




Before cleaning