At Westport Veterinary Clinic we take your pet’s dental care just as seriously as our own.

We regularly carry out Complete Oral Health Assessment and Treatment procedures on dogs and cats. This includes full mouth x-rays, extractions if necessary and a scale & polish. We carry this procedure out under a full general anaesthetic as it is the only way to properly assess and treat dental issues it also minimises distress to animals. As a practice we feel you cannot perform a sufficient dental without full mouth x-rays as teeth looking healthy on the outside can easily have significant disease under the gums which would be missed without x-rays.

We use digital x-ray processors so that the procedure can be done as quickly as possible, minimising anaesthetic time (good for your pet and good for your wallet!). We also have a state-of-the-art dental machine complete with a high speed drills, ultrasonic scaler, polisher and suction.

Oral Health Care for Cats and Dogs

Why Should I Brush My Pet’s Teeth?

For a long time, we have been aware of the benefits of brushing our own teeth. However, it is only relatively that we have recognised our pets would benefit from an oral care routine in the same way. Experts estimate that over 90% of cats and dogs over the age of 3 have some form of progressive, degenerative dental disease. Clinical studies have also found strong links between dental disease and disease of the kidneys or heart.

Dogs and Cats are thought to have evolved to be very good at hiding their pain and will usually continue to eat even when they have a bad toothache. Therefore, it can be difficult to notice signs of dental issues, which is why we will check their mouth during regular check-ups and will often recommend a dental if we can see signs of dental disease.

During your pet’s dental we will carry out a visual inspection of the surfaces of the teeth and use radiography to inspect the roots. Any unhealthy or irreversibly damaged teeth that would be causing your pet pain are removed and the remaining teeth are cleaned. Once your pet returns to you with a shiny, sparkly smile you can start to introduce them to regular toothbrushing and other dental care products.

How to introduce dental care products?!

We recommend incorporating oral care into your pet’s daily routine. The best way to do this is to train your dog or cat to tolerate tooth-brushing. This is a gradual process and you must allow your pet time to grow accustomed to a toothbrush or finger-brushing.

Start by introducing them to a small amount of tasty paste such as pate from your finger. Once they are used to having this spread around their teeth and gums, you can change to a tasty meat flavoured toothpaste and gradually work up to using the paste with a finger brush then a toothbrush.

When Do I Start?

The earlier, the better! Pets of any age can be introduced to a daily oral care routine and will benefit from it in the short- and long-term. If you have a young puppy or kitten, make sure you are using a soft brush that won’t harm their sensitive gums.

We particularly recommend gently introducing oral health care after your pet has visited us for a dental. This means you are starting with a clean slate. However, if your pet has had extractions their mouth might be painful or sensitive, so for the first week just avoid sore areas and get them used to having their mouth gently opened and reward them by allowing them to lick a tasty treat or toothpaste from your finger.

Please give our practice a call if you have any questions or book an appointment with our nurses for a free dental check up.

Oral Health Care for Rabbits and Small Furries

Rabbits and rodents have continually growing teeth so do not need to have their teeth brushed. However, their teeth should be checked regularly to make sure they are growing and being worn down correctly. Animals of any species can suffer from a condition called malocclusion, where the teeth do not line up as they should. In species with continually growing teeth, this can prevent the animal from grinding their teeth down properly. If their teeth become too long they can struggle to eat and will require veterinary attention.

Your pet’s health is important.
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