Dental Care for your Pet

Jim Johnson   June 13, 2012   Comments Off on Dental Care for your Pet

Q) Is dental care important for my pet?

A) Yes, for multiple reasons. Most pets will have periodontal disease by the time they are four years old. This worsens with age, and can lead to serious medical problems, including heart, liver or kidney failure.

In small dogs, these problems often happen earlier in life; often teeth are being lost by 4 to 5 years of age. These same problems can occur in cats, along with resorptive lesions, which are erosions in the crown or root of the tooth. These are very painful and can lead to tooth loss. Once these lesions develop, the affected teeth must be extracted; otherwise they will be a source of pain in the dog or cat’s mouth.

Dental radiograph showing resorptive lesion in a dog

This image shows a severe example of a resorptive lesion (“tooth decay”) in a dog. Note that most of the tooth is gone. Can you imagine what this feels like?

Dental problems in small animals are best prevented by regular dental cleanings at your veterinarian’s office and with follow-up dental care at home.