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Our veterinarian in Decatur answers some of the most frequently asked questions about the importance of regular pet dental care here. If you have more questions, call us at 217-428-7709.
Why does your animal hospital in Decatur insist upon pet dental care?
More than half of adult cats and dogs suffer from periodontal disease. At the very least, gum disease causes very foul breath and gingivitis. As the disease progresses, it can lead to bleeding, tooth loss, infection, pain when eating, and even damage to the internal organs. If you are unsure of your pet’s dental health needs, our veterinarian can help.
How does periodontal disease work in pets?
Every day, plaque builds up on the teeth around the gums. You can brush this away daily. However, if left alone for days, weeks, months or years at a time, plaque turns to cement-like tartar that can only be removed professionally at our animal hospital. Tartar is bad because it attracts more bacteria that inflame the gums, damage the root structures and make their way into your pet’s bloodstream.
How frequently does my pet need a professional dental cleaning?
Our veterinarian recommends at least once a year for a pet dental exam and cleaning -- but pets with very advanced periodontal disease may need additional appointments to resolve problems. Just as importantly, you should establish the habit of brushing your pet’s teeth each day. Just call us for an appointment and tips on getting started with a daily pet dental care routine at home.
Is anesthesia really necessary for a pet dental cleaning appointment?
Yes. Even the most relaxed pet has difficulty lying still during a dental procedure, and we are working with sharp dental tools that require precision and care to avoid injury to both us and your pet. We use the same stringent, safe anesthesia procedures during a pet dental appointment as we use during other pet surgical procedures. This enables us to do a very deep cleaning and catch any potential problems we might otherwise miss.
Is human toothpaste safe to use on my pet?
No, but there are many specially-formulated toothpastes for pets that even come in flavors like tuna, chicken, and peanut butter. Our veterinarians can recommend several pet-friendly dental products like toothbrushes, treats, and water-bowl additives too.
When do you recommend a pet tooth extraction?
Some teeth become so infected from periodontal disease that they cannot be repaired; and the infection can endanger neighboring teeth and gums. That is when we recommend extractions.
Will my pet be able to eat crunchy foods again after an extraction?
After about 2 weeks of a soft-food diet during recovery time, yes. Your pet should be able to enjoy his or her regular diet much better after the offending tooth has been removed.
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I visit Fairview Animal Hospital at least once a week for a few of my fur-babies to receive laser therapy and the ENTIRE staff always shows genuine concern for my babies as well as me. They are always completely honest in the care they believe my pets need and only suggest treatments that they firmly believe would help my babies comfort. I have six dogs and two cats who all have their own issues and they know them all by name, know what their problems are and cater to their individual needs. The best part of this staff, is that every single one of my babies thoroughly enjoys their visits which is most important to me.
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