All smiles after cat's dental cleaning
I started crying happy tears at the mall the other day when I got the call that my cat, King, doesn't have cancer.

The fact that I’m pregnant probably had a lot to do with it.

When King went in for his teeth cleaning a couple of weeks ago, we got a call from the vet that he needed to extract a part of one of his teeth. It was rotted and we had no idea.

Later, the vet asked us if we’d like them to send tissue and bone samples off to the University of Guelph to check for cancer. That only one tooth was a problem, and the rest of King's mouth appeared to be fine, raised some red flags.

Our vet did tell us there was an 80 percent chance that it was not cancer, but being the worry wart that I am, I immediately feared the worst.

We did have the option of seeing how well his mouth healed after two weeks, but I don’t have that kind of patience.

I don’t mean to scare everyone whose pet may have dental issues, because like I said, the cancer possibility was minimal. But if you suspect your pet has dental problems, it is something you should get checked out. If we didn’t take King in for that cleaning, we might not have found that rotted tooth and it could have led to more problems.

The title for this column is a tad misleading. It was all smiles for me, but it isn't all smiles for King at the moment because he can only eat wet food while his mouth heals, and he is missing his kibble. I soak his kibble to make it soft so he can eat it, but apparently, it just isn't the same.

Your pet’s gums should be checked at least once a year by your veterinarian, according to the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA).

Have your pet’s teeth checked sooner if you observe: Bad breath; broken or loose teeth; extra teeth or retained baby teeth; teeth that are discoloured or covered in tartar; abnormal chewing, drooling, or dropping food from the mouth; reduced appetite or refusal to eat; pain in or around the mouth; bleeding from the mouth; or swelling in the areas surrounding the mouth.

I know most dogs and cats don’t have the greatest smelling breath, but apparently, it can smell absolutely terrible if there is a problem with their mouth.

Changes in your pet’s behavior should also prompt a visit to your veterinarian, warns the AVMA. And always be careful when evaluating your pet’s mouth, because an animal in pain may bite.

The AVMA says pets can have many of the same dental problems that people can develop: Broken teeth and roots; periodontal disease; abscesses or infected teeth; cysts or tumours in the mouth; malocclusion, or misalignment of the teeth and bite; broken (fractured) jaw; or palate defects (such as cleft palate).

But the periodontal disease is the most common dental condition in dogs and cats. This is what King was diagnosed with. Early detection and treatment are critical because advanced periodontal disease can cause severe problems and pain for your pet. Periodontal disease doesn’t just affect your pet’s mouth, says the AVMA. Other health problems found in association with periodontal disease include kidney, liver, and heart muscle changes.

Treatment of periodontal disease involves a thorough dental cleaning and X-rays may be needed to determine the severity of the disease.

The AVMA says regularly brushing your pet’s teeth is the best thing you can do to keep their teeth healthy between dental cleanings. It may even reduce the frequency or eliminate the need for periodic dental cleaning by your veterinarian. Daily brushing is best, but since it’s not always possible, brushing several times a week can be effective. While most dogs accept brushing, cats can be a bit more resistant. You just need to have a little patience.

Also, do not use toothpaste made for humans on your pet. Ask your veterinarian about the best products specifically for pets.
  • Apr 25, 2019
  • Category: News
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