Imagine what it would be like if you never brushed your teeth and never went to the dentist. For many cats, this a painful reality, but it doesn’t have to be. When was the last time you took a peek at your cat’s pearly (or not so pearly) whites? Or took them to the vet for an exam? Many owners may just not realize how important dental care is for their cat. So, in celebration of National Pet Dental Health Month, we are hoping to help educate our fellow cat guardians with these 4 quick facts about dental care for your cat.
1. The Stats: Statistics have shown that 80% of cats over the age of 3 are affected with dental health issues. In fact, it is the most common disease diagnosed in cats. The good news is that dental disease can be treated, and there are many preventatives that can help decrease your cat’s risk of developing the disease. The bad news, however, is that if dental disease goes undetected or untreated, then your cat may suffer from a wide array of health problems including not just their teeth and gums but their internal organs as well!
- bad breath
- discolored teeth and/or teeth covered in tartar
- loose teeth
- bleeding from the mouth
- dropping food from the mouth
- loss of weight and/or appetite
The signs of dental disease, however, are not always that obvious. For this reason, it is essential to have a veterinarian do an oral exam at least once per year because they are able to examine your cat in ways are impossible to do at home. (Did you know that here at Cat Care Professionals an oral exam is included in all of our routine physical exams?)
3. Prevention: As with everything, prevention is key. Our doctors are often asked by pet owners if they should be brushing their cat’s teeth at home. Our answer to this question is, “Yes, if possible.” Brushing your cat’s teeth is by far one of the most effective ways to prevent dental disease so it’s definitely worth it. To help you get started, check out this short video series by Cornell University’s College of Veterinary Medicine. Lastly, we recommend investing in a product called Healthy Mouth which is an additive for your cat’s water that helps to reduce plaque.
4. Treatment: While it’s important to care for your cat’s teeth at home, they may still need to go to the dentist (a.k.a. their veterinarian) from time to time, just like us. This is where we can help. At CCP, we offer dental procedures that include:
- pre-anesthetic bloodwork
- anesthesia with dedicated nurse monitor
- IV fluids under anesthesia
- oral evaluation by a veterinarian
- full mouth dental radiographs
- cleaning with ultrasonic scaling and polishing
- fluoride treatment
- antibiotic injection
- pain medication injection
- anal sac expression
- toenail trim
- any other necessary treatments such as extractions
If you have any questions or concerns, then we welcome you to call us at (503) 968 – 6000 or to schedule an appointment online. We look forward to hearing from you!