Have you smelt your pet's breath recently? Do you look at your pet's teeth? Just like us our pets can suffer from dental disease and we probably all know how unpleasant that can be. Unfortunately our pets can’t tell us about it or complain like we can!
At Endell Veterinary Group, oral hygiene is regarded as an important part of every dog, cat, ferret and rabbit's general health and we encourage regular dental check ups for your pets. Dental disease can occur in young and aged animals so it is vital your pet gets used to having his/her mouth examined regularly. However, dogs, cats and ferrets get different dental problems to rabbits and require different types of treatment.
If tartar (hard brown material) and gingivitis (red gums) are already present, your pet will need a general anaesthetic to have the teeth cleaned. Once under the anaesthetic the teeth are scaled with a sonic scaler to remove the tartar. This is followed with the use of a curette, an instrument that removes material from under the gum line. At this stage the teeth are probed to examine them for fractures, caries (holes) or gum recession. Teeth that are a source of pain will be extracted. This can be quite a major surgical procedure as many teeth have multiple large roots. Dissolvable sutures may be placed to encourage healing. The clean, healthy teeth are then polished and a treatment applied to smooth the surface and prevent rapid re-attachment of plaque. If radiographs are required in the assessment of a patient, e.g. fractured teeth, caries or root absorption, Endell Veterinary Group has a dental x-ray machine.
In contrast rabbits tend to suffer problems from overgrowth of teeth as their teeth grow continuously throughout life. Diet plays an important part in keeping teeth healthy. Advice on diet and dental care for rabbits and other ‘small furries' is available.
Nurse clinics are run to give advice on keeping the teeth clean by brushing and advice on pet toothpastes, and the various diets, chews and toys available to aid oral health.