Thursday, February 2, 2012

 Jennifer Carl-Howard, DVM
My teeth are fine!

   At the Animal Clinic at Equestrian Woods, the doctors and staff believe a healthy mouth is the most important avenue to a long and healthy life.  Did you know up to 80% of all pets have tartar and plaque on their teeth?  Many have broken, loose or abscessed teeth they never told you about! 
mmmm... worse than we thought

“But, my groomer brushes my dog’s teeth when they are in for a bath.”

 This is as ineffective as you brushing once a month!  Knowing my own morning breath is strong after only twelve hours, I cannot imagine waiting a month between brushings.  To be effective, daily brushing is required to prevent plaque and tartar.

teeth no one sees

                                                                                                                   “But my pet had his/her teeth cleaned a year ago.”     
 Plaque began to build on the teeth within 30 minutes of the last cleaning!  Plaque, when left on the teeth, turns to tartar in short order.  Tartar is like concrete, teaming with bacteria and food debris on the teeth.  No amount of brushing will remove tartar. 

“But, the anesthesia is dangerous, especially when they are older.”
 The risk of anesthetic reaction is very low with the new drugs available. At the Animal Clinic at Equestrian Woods, each anesthesia procedure is monitored start to finish by a technician.  A doctor is present throughout the entire procedure to assess possible oral disease.  Our patients are awake very quickly, usually within five minutes. 

diseased tooth which was extracted

 “But, my pet is not showing pain.  They are eating just fine.”

normal lower molar

 Our four legged friends are pre- programmed to hide illness.  This is a survival technique.  Animals with broken, abscessed, or cavity riddled teeth rarely show overt pain and rarely stop eating. 
 They live with the chronic pain and infection, which shortens their life. 

February is National Pet Dental Month!  This is a perfect time to assess your pet’s mouth and breath.  Our technicians will provide FREE screenings of your pet’s mouth.  If your pet is deemed to be one of the 80% needing a cleaning, we will provide FREE pre-operative blood screening, a $60 value, for routine dental cleanings scheduled for February.   We would be happy to discuss ways to help maintain a healthy mouth in your pet.  Please call with any questions or to set a time for your oral health check.    (859)  224-1418

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