Banish bad breath, support overall health and well-being: Dental care for pets in Oakleaf Plantation, FL

We may joke about our dog’s stinky breath or our cat’s drooling; however, these behaviors can indicate the presence of serious conditions. Poor dental care also puts your pets at increased risk of developing diseases that can damage their quality of life and shorten life spans. Orange Park Animal Hospital at Oakleaf is proud to serve clients and their furry family members in Oakleaf Plantation, Orange Park, NAS Jacksonville, and the surrounding communities. Our veterinarians have developed special interests in areas such as oral care. So, your pet is in safe and highly skilled hands. 

The importance of dental care for pets

Just like with people, pets can break their teeth or suffer from conditions such as misalignment and cysts. Similarly, the American Veterinary Association reports most pets will develop periodontal (gum) disease before their third birthday! If periodontal disease is not resolved, your pet can suffer from: 

  • Holes or fistulas
  • Nasal discharge
  • Weak jawbone
  • Fractures
  • Bony infections

The American Veterinary Dental College notes that studies have implicated periodontal disease in developing microscopic changes to the heart, liver, and kidneys.

What to expect from veterinary oral care

Our veterinarians generally recommend annual oral exams and professional cleanings. Senior pets and dogs and cats with pre-existing conditions (such as diabetes) are at increased risk of developing dental and periodontal diseases so we may want to see them for more frequent checkups. Do not wait for your pet’s next scheduled exam if you notice any of the following changes: 

  • Persistent bad breath
  • Loose teeth 
  • Blood in their water bowls
  • A lack of interest in eating 
  • Sneezing 
  • Drooling
  • Sensitivity to touch
  • Irritability and other behavioral changes

Pets with early-stage dental or gum disease may have no symptoms or subtle symptoms so by the time problems are noticeable, the condition may have caused irreparable damage. This process reinforces the importance of regular checkups, which generally include: 

  • Use of advanced diagnostics such as digital x-rays to evaluate jaw and tooth-root health, as dental disease tends to develop under the gums 
  • Administration of low-risk anesthesia, which supports a comfortable experience for your pet
  • Anesthesia also allows for diligent and efficient cleaning and prevents the risk of your pet being injured as she or he fidgets on the treatment table
  • Use of a gentle ultrasonic scaler to remove plaque, stubborn tartar, and bacteria 
  • Polishing to remove residual plaque and smooth the tooth surface
  • Application of antibacterial mouth rinse

We make recommendations for home hygiene that are specific to your pet. Follow-up visits may also be scheduled to monitor active disease. We can show you techniques to brush your pet’s teeth safely and effectively. Consistent use of dental products and treats for dogs and cats may be suggested.

Freshen puppy breath—support kitty’s nutritious diet. To keep your dog or cat their happy, healthy best, contact us today to schedule your visit.