We hope that you and your furry children are staying warm during this very cold Winter season. February is National Pet Dental Month, and we wanted to inform you of the importance of keeping up with the oral hygiene of your pet.
According to the American Veterinary Dental Society, approximately 80 percent of dogs and 70 percent of cats show signs of oral disease by age 3. Periodontal disease is a common oral disease in dogs (particularly smaller breeds) and cats. Cats can develop painful resorptive lesions. These lesions result in the loss of tooth structure, starting with the outer enamel surface, usually at or below the gum line. Studies show that about 28 percent of domestic cats develop at least one of these lesions during their lifetime. Left untreated, the inflammation and infection associated with oral disease may eventually damage other organs such as the heart, liver, and kidneys and can lead to other serious health problems.
Proper dental care begins with a complete dental evaluation which we provide during your pet’s health exam. If we see dental disease, dental therapy will be recommended. The degree of dental therapy is determined during the exam, and depending on the severity we may recommend extractions. We can assure you of the highest quality of dental care at Hudson Animal Hospital as all extractions are performed by veterinarians whom have gone through advanced training. These procedures are often performed by technicians at other clinics.
All dental patients are intubated and placed under full gas anesthesia to allow for proper treatment. This is done for a few important reasons. First, it allows us to provide a complete oral exam. Also, cleaning and extractions (if necessary) are performed without pain or discomfort. Second, dental instruments are very sharp and anesthesia can prevent our patients from sustaining injuries. Third, it provides protection for the airway. 1 gram of tartar contains 1 trillion bacteria! During scaling, these bacteria aerosolize and can cause respiratory infections if the patient is not protected by an endotracheal tube. Also, the scaling procedure uses copious amounts of water and the endotracheal tube minimizes the risk of aspiration pneumonia. So, general anesthesia sounds scary, but this in fact makes the procedure a lot safer than performing it with just light sedation. We always check the health status of our patients prior to anesthesia with a comprehensive physical exam and a blood panel.
To promote Pet Dental Month we are offering 10 percent off of dental therapy. Please take advantage of this promotion and come visit our hospital in Upper West Side!